New Delhi, April 10

Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Saturday said the government had mismanaged the Covid situation by allowing vaccine exports and creating shortage in the country, even as Congress-ruled Punjab and Chhattisgarh said they had five and three days of vaccine stocks left, respectively.

Addressing the chief ministers of Punjab, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan during the Covid review meet on Saturday, Gandhi asked the CMs whether election rallies should be cancelled as cases continued to surge.

“It is 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 number 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,” Gandhi said, calling for responsible behaviour – adhering to all Covid regulations without exception.

Stressing the need for unity in the fight against Covid, Gandhi said the government had mismanaged the situation by “exporting vaccines and allowed a shortage to be created in India”.

Gandhi said mass gatherings for elections and religious events have accelerated Covid for which everyone is 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 doesn’t go out of control and ensure testing at large scale, preparation of adequate facilities, setting up temporary ones.”

Gandhi also asked CMs about the status of farmer agitation.

She sought answers to whether there is enough vaccine available, whether the central government has been cooperative, whether the states are doing enough to ensure availability of the oxygen.

“What is your view of lockdown? Should not public gatherings, including election rallies, be cancelled?” she asked.

Punjab CM Amarinder Singh and Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel said they had asked the Centre for vaccine supplies.

Case positivity rate in Maharashtra, Punjab and Chhattisgarh where the Congress is in power is much higher than the national average.

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