Congress President Smt. Sonia Gandhi held a virtual meeting on April 10, 2021, with Chief Ministers of Congress-ruled states to take stock of the COVID-19 situation and preparedness as the country witnessed a surge in coronavirus cases. Former President and Congress leader Shri Rahul Gandhi also attended the meet. During the meeting, Smt. Sonia Gandhi said that the priority should be to “test, track and vaccinate.”
In her address she said, “Covid is surging - as the principal opposition party, it’s our responsibility to raise issues and push the government to move away from PR tactics and act in the interest of the people.
Therefore, there must be transparency – Governments must reveal the actual numbers of infections and deaths across states, whether Congress ruled or otherwise.
We must focus on India’s vaccination drive first and foremost, then only export vaccines and gift them to other countries. We must stress on responsible behaviour - adhering to all laws and Covid regulations without exception.
Cooperation with states respecting federalism and in turn, for us to be constructive and cooperate with the government in its efforts to fight the pandemic is equally important. We are all united in this fight.
The Modi government has mismanaged the situation - exported vaccine and allowed a shortage to be created in India.
Mass gatherings for elections and religious events have accelerated Covid for which all of us are responsible to some extent. We need to accept this responsibility and keep the interest of the nation above our own.
In our states, we need to take strict measures to ensure that the pandemic does not go out of control and ensure testing at large scale, preparation of adequate facilities, setting up temporary ones. We must make all efforts to support those who face the brunt of reduced economic activity as the restrictions become harder and more stringent.
Is there enough vaccine available?
Has the central government been cooperative?
What are our states doing to ensure availability of the oxygen, ventilators and other facilities as the pandemic grows?
What is your view of lockdown? What about the economic fallout?
How bad is the situation in your state?
Should not public gatherings including election rallies be cancelled?
Various packages had been announced by the Central government to help MSMEs and stimulate the economy. What impact have these packages had and what more should the Government be doing to deal with the continuing crisis? Do you see economic recovery happening in the manner that is being officially claimed?
As per our discussion on Covid, I would like to be briefed on the latest situation regarding the agitation of farmers that has been going on now for well over five months. Congress-ruled states have passed their own laws, but these have not received Presidential assent. What more should we do even though the key to the solution lies with the Centre which has created the problem in the first place.”