Various Opposition parties on Wednesday wrote a joint letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, listing nine measures they expect the Centre to immediately undertake to deal with the second wave of the pandemic.
Alleging that the Centre has time and again failed to heed the Opposition’s advice, they urged the government to ramp up vaccination, stop Central Vista construction and distribute food grains to the needy apart from taking other measures.
In their letter, the Opposition parties wrote, “Without going into all the acts of commission and omission by the Central government that have brought the country to such a tragic pass, we are of the firm opinion that the following measures must be undertaken on a war footing by your government.
1. Procure vaccines centrally from all available sources - global and domestic.
2. Immediately begin a free, universal mass vaccination campaign across the country.
3. Invoke compulsory licensing to expand domestic vaccine production.
4. Spend budgetary allocation of Rs. 35,000 crores for the vaccines.
5. Stop Central Vista construction. Use the allocated money for procuring oxygen and vaccines, instead.
6. Release all money held in the unaccounted private trust fund, PMCares to buy more vaccines, Oxygen and medical equipment required.
7. Give all jobless at least Rs. 6000 per month.
8. Free distribution of foodgrains to the needy (over one crore tonnes of foodgrains are currently rotting in central godowns).
9. Repeal farm laws to protect lakhs of our annadatas becoming victims of the pandemic so that they can continue to produce food to feed the Indian people.
Though it has not been the practice of your office or government, we would appreciate a response to our suggestions in the interests of India and our people.”
The letter was jointly signed by Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, JDS chief HD Deve Gowda, NCP president Sharad Pawar, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee, Tamil Nadu CM MK Stalin, Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren, NC chief Farooq Abdullah, RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav, CPI leader D Raja CPI(M) secretary Sitaram Yechury.
For in-depth, objective and more importantly balanced journalism, Click here to subscribe to Outlook Magazine