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Mainstream, VOL LIX No 22, New Delhi, May 15, 2021

Covid-19 pandemic: Joint Letter from 12 Opposition Parties to the Prime Minister | May 12, 2021

Friday 14 May 2021

Date: Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Joint Letter by Major Opposition Parties to the Prime Minister

Dear Mr Prime Minister,

The Covid-19 pandemic in our country has assumed unprecedented dimensions of a human catastrophe.

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.

Without going into all the acts of commission and omission by the Central government that have brought the country to such a tragic pass, we are of the firm opinion that the following measures must be undertaken on a war footing by your government.

  • Procure vaccines centrally from all available sources - global and domestic.
  • Immediately begin a free, universal mass vaccination campaign across the country.
  • Invoke compulsory licensing to expand domestic vaccine production.
  • Spend budgetary allocation of Rs. 35,000 crores for the vaccines.
  • Stop Central Vista construction. Use the allocated money for procuring oxygen and vaccines, instead.
  • Release all money held in the unaccounted private trust fund, PMCares to buy more vaccines, Oxygen and medical equipment required.
  • Give all jobless at least Rs. 6000 per month.
  • Free distribution of foodgrains to the needy (over one crore tonnes of foodgrains are currently rotting in central godowns).
  • Repeal farm laws to protect lakhs of our annadatas becoming victims of the pandemic so that they can continue to produce food to feed the Indian people.

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.

sd/-

Sonia Gandhi (INC)
HD Deve Gowda (JD-S)
Sharad Pawar (NCP)
Uddhav Thackeray (SS)
Mamata Banerjee (TMC)
MK Stalin (DMK)
Hemant Soren (JMM)
Farooq Abdullah (JKPA)
Akhilesh Yadav (SP)
Tejaswi Yadav (RJD)
D Raja (CPI)
Sitaram Yechury (CPI-M)

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