Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday again hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi regarding the spiraling coronavirus situation in India, saying that along with vaccines, oxygen and medicines, he was also missing.
“What’s left is the Central Vista, Goods and Services tax on medicines and the prime minister’s photos here and there,” Gandhi added.
Meanwhile, the National Student’s Union of India filed a missing person complaint about Union Home Minister Amit Shah with the Delhi Police. The organisation’s General Secretary Nagesh Kariyappa told The Hindu that politicians must look after the public and not run away in a crisis.
India on Thursday registered 3,62,727 new coronavirus cases, taking the tally of infections to 2,37,03,665 since the pandemic broke out in January last year. With 4,120 deaths, the toll rose to 2,58,317.
The massive second wave of the coronavirus has overwhelmed the health infrastructure in India. Several states are grappling with acute shortages of oxygen, vaccines and drugs.
Many people have died awaiting a bed or oxygen, while morgues and crematoriums were reported to have surpassed their capacity. The surge in infections has coincided with a drop in vaccinations because of supply and delivery problems. Multiple states were forced to stop or limit their inoculation programme due to acute shortages of vaccines.
Gandhi and his party colleagues have consistently criticised the Centre for the way it was handling the health crisis in India. They also hit out at the government for going ahead with the multi-crore Central Vista project in the middle of the devastation caused by the coronavirus.
On Wednesday, Gandhi hit out at the government for its plan to launch a “positivity campaign” to counter the criticism that it was facing. He said that the government was trying to ignore truths and about the pandemic by burying its “head in the sand”.
On the same day, the leaders of 12 Opposition parties blamed the central government for the devastating second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, which they said had “assumed unprecedented dimensions of a human catastrophe”.
The signatories to the joint letter included, Congress leader Sonia Gandhi, Janata Dal (Secular) leader HD Deve Gowda, Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar, Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin and Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Sitaram Yechury.
The leaders demanded that authorities suspend the Central Vista Redevelopment Project and instead divert the money to buy oxygen and vaccines. They also urged Modi to provide free vaccines to everyone and procure urgent supplies from overseas.