Top leaders of twelve opposition parties including Sonia Gandhi of Congress and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on May 12 wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seeking a free mass vaccination drive against Covid-19, and a suspension of the central vista revamp project to aid the fight against the pandemic.
The letter was signed by representatives of all key political parties except Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party and Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party.
The opposition leaders demanded that the government must take immediate action to fight Covid-19. They accused the government of ignoring their earlier suggestions and said it had compounded the situation to reach “such an apocalyptic human tragedy”.
The letter said, “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.”
The leaders demanded that some measures suggested by them must be taken seriously.
“Invoke compulsory licensing to expand domestic vaccine production. Spend budgetary allocation of ₹35,000 crores for the vaccines,” the leaders said in their letter.
“Stop Central Vista construction. Use the allocated money for procuring oxygen and vaccines, instead. Release all money held in the unaccounted private trust fund, PM Cares to buy more vaccines, Oxygen and medical equipment required,” the letter added.
The leaders also demanded the repeal of the 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,” the leaders wrote.