Twelve major opposition parties have written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, demanding that the Centre take immediate action as the ferocious second wave of Covid rips through the country, leaving hospitals overwhelmed and hundreds of thousands dead.
Calling it an “apocalyptic human tragedy”, the opposition parties suggested a series of measures that included distribution of free vaccines, a stop to the work on the Central Vista project and a repeal of farm laws.
“We have repeatedly in the past drawn your attention, independently and jointly, to the various measures that are absolutely imperative for the Central government to undertake and implement. Unfortunately, your government has either ignored or refused all these suggestions. This only compounded the situation to reach such an apocalyptic human tragedy,” the letter read.
The list of suggestions they sent included:
- Central procurement of vaccines from all available sources – global and domestic.
- Immediate free, universal mass vaccination campaign
- Compulsory licensing to expand domestic vaccine production
- Spending the Rs 35,000 crore budgetary allocation for vaccines
- Stopping the Central Vista construction and using the money for oxygen and vaccines
- Releasing all money held in the “unaccounted private trust fund”, PMCares to buy vaccines, oxygen and medical equipment
- Rs 6000 per month for the unemployed
- Free distribution of food-grain to the needy.
- Repeal of farm laws to protect farmers falling victim to Covid
The letter was signed by representatives of all key political parties except Mayawati’s BSP and Arvind Kejriwal’s AAP.
The parties also sought a response. “Though it has not been the practice of your office or government, we would appreciate a response to our suggestions in the interests of India and our people,” the letter read.