AGENCIES, New Delhi: Coronavirus has increased disturbingly “both in spread and speed” in the past three weeks but suggestions to the government have been acted upon “only partially and in a miserly way”, Congress president Sonia Gandhi said on Thursday at a key leadership meeting of her party on the global pandemic. The government had failed to show “compassion and alacrity” in softening the impact of the lockdown, she said.
For the first time since the coronavirus crisis began, the Congress president took on the BJP and sounded concern on what she called the “virus of communal hatred” spread by the ruling party; it should worry each and every Indian, she said.
“Let me also share with you something that should worry each and every one us Indians. When we should be tackling the corona virus unitedly, the BJP continues to spread the virus of communal prejudice and hatred. Grave damage is being done to our social harmony. Our party, we will have to work hard to repair that damage,” Sonia Gandhi said.
The Congress president said she had written several times to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, offered constructive cooperation in the coronavirus fight and had also made suggestions to alleviate the suffering of both rural and urban people. “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,” Sonia Gandhi alleged.
While the coronavirus lockdown continued, farmers and migrant workers were still facing acute hardship and distress, “particularly our kisans and khet mazdoors, migrant labour, construction workers and workers in the unorganized sector”, the Congress president said. Trade, commerce and industry had come to a virtual halt and crores of livelihoods had been destroyed.
“The central government does not appear to have a clear idea on how the situation will be managed after May 3. A lockdown of the present nature after that date would be even more devastating,” she warned.