“The Modi government must realise that the battle is against COVID-19, not against the Congress or other political opponents,” Gandhi said. (Image: PTI)
Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi said on April 26 that the fight against COVID-19 must be fought together as a nation and beyond political alignments.
In an interview with The Indian Express, Gandhi said that fighting the novel coronavirus pandemic is not a battle between the Center and the states. “We believe that fighting COVID-19 is not a “You versus Us” battle, but is an “Us versus Corona” battle. This battle is, therefore, beyond political alignments. We have to fight this battle together as a nation.”
“The Modi government must realise that the battle is against COVID-19, not against the Congress or other political opponents,” Gandhi said.
The 74-year-old leader of the Congress party said that she was “deeply saddened by the contemptuous response” of the Central government to suggestions sent by her, former prime minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and former party chief Rahul Gandhi at various times.
“Is it correct for the Modi government’s ministers to attack Opposition leaders or find faults with Opposition States in the middle of the pandemic, instead of reaching out to work together?” Gandhi questioned.
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Asked if the Congress would help and share ideas with the Centre if reached out to, Gandhi replied in the affirmative and added that her party had years of experience in government and disaster management.
Gandhi, a Lok Sabha member from Uttar Pradesh’s Rae Bareli, said that a number of issues required immediate attention, including "making provision for oxygen; stopping black marketeering of medicines; availability of beds; vaccination; quick testing and tracing; economic support to the disadvantaged and genetic sequencing of the virus."
Asked if Congress too, like other parties, holding rallies in poll-bound states send out a wrong signal, Gandhi told the newspaper: “You are right, and to be honest, I myself questioned the correctness of an elaborate political campaign in the middle of the pandemic … I spoke to some of my colleagues regarding holding big rallies once the numbers started rising significantly. Unfortunately, though not a single one disagreed, there was pressure to continue simply because we could not stop unilaterally.”Follow Moneycontrol’s full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic here