Sonia Gandhi accused BJP of spreading communal virus


Interim Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Thursday accused the BJP of spreading the virus of communal prejudice and hatred in the country instead of fighting the coronavirus that has crippled life across the world.

Addressing a meeting of the party working committee, Gandhi said it should worry every Indian that grave damage is being done to the country’s social harmony and added that her party will have to work hard to repair that damage.

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, former Congress president Rahul Gandhi and top Congress leaders attended the meeting held through video conference

The Congress chief said the coronavirus pandemic has increased disturbingly in the past three weeks and called upon the government to increase testing for it.

Gandhi said she has written several times to the prime minister since the lockdown was enforced and suggested several measures and constructive cooperation.

"Unfortunately, they have been acted upon only partially and in a miserly way. The compassion, large-heartedness and alacrity that should be forthcoming from the central government is conspicuous by its absence," she was quoted by PTI as saying.

She claimed that around 12 crore people have lost jobs in the first phase of the lockdown and urged the government to provide a relief package for the MSME sector, which accounts for one-third of the GDP. She called upon the government to provide food and financial security to migrants and jobless stranded at various places and were desperate to reach back home

The Congress chief said the focus of the party must continue to be on successfully engaging with health, food security and livelihood issues. She said that a lockdown of the present nature after May 3 will be devastating. "The central government does not appear to have a clear idea on how the situation will be managed after May 3rd,” she added.

Manmohan Singh said the success of the lockdown will be judged finally on India's ability to tackle COVID-19. He said the cooperation between the Centre and states was key to success of the country's fight against coronavirus and added that the fight against COVID-19 would very much depend upon the availability of resources.

Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot, Chattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel and Pondicherry chief minister Narayanswamy who spoke on the occasion said that the fight against Covid will not be won without financially empowering the states. They said that the Centre had done nothing in this regard.

Image Credit: Business Standard


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