Congress president Sonia Gandhi got here down closely on the federal government over the COVID-19 scenario within the nation on Friday and alleged that it has deserted any pretence of being democratic and forgotten the spirit of federalism.
Addressing a gathering of 22 opposition events convened via video-conferencing to debate the scenario arising out of the coronavirus pandemic, she alleged that the federal government is unsure in regards to the standards for implementing lockdowns and has no exit technique from it.
Gandhi mentioned the federal government has “cruelly ignored” scores of migrant employees and the 13 crore households within the backside half of the inhabitants as no monetary aid has been offered to them.
“The prime minister’s announcement of a grand Rs 20 lakh crore package on May 12 and the finance minister spelling out its details over the next five days have turned out to be a cruel joke on the country,” she mentioned.
The Congress chief mentioned there is no such thing as a indication both as regards whether or not Parliament or its standing committees will likely be summoned to fulfill to debate the scenario.
“The government has abandoned any pretence of being democratic and all power is now concentrated in only one office — the PMO,” she mentioned.
Gandhi additionally accused the federal government of functioning unilaterally, saying there is no such thing as a pretence of any session with the stakeholders or debate in Parliament.
Alleging that the federal government has launched into a “wild adventure” of so-called reforms, together with “a grand clearance sale of PSUs” and repeal of labour legal guidelines, she mentioned, “We deplore these unilateral moves.”
Gandhi identified that quite a lot of famend economists have predicted that 2020-21 will finish with a unfavorable development of as much as minus 5 per cent for the nation and its “consequences will be catastrophic”.
“That the present government has no solutions is worrying, but that it has no empathy or compassion for the poor and vulnerable is heartbreaking,” she famous.
“The spirit of federalism, which is an integral part of our Constitution, is all but forgotten. There is no indication either if the two Houses of Parliament or the standing committees will be summoned to meet,” she mentioned.
The Congress chief mentioned it’s the obligation of the opposition to supply constructive criticism and ideas, and be the voice of the individuals.
“It is in that spirit that this meeting has been convened,” she mentioned, requesting the opposition leaders to return forth with their thought of views.
Gandhi mentioned many like-minded events had demanded switch of money to the poor and free distribution of foodgrains to all, in addition to arranging buses and trains for migrant employees to return to their properties. “But our pleas have fallen on deaf ears,” she mentioned.
Gandhi mentioned the financial downturn started in 2017-18, when the seven quarters of declining GDP development was unprecedented. Yet, the federal government carried on with its “misguided policies and incompetent governance”, she rued.
The Congress chief mentioned the preliminary optimism of the prime minister that the battle in opposition to the coronavirus would conclude in 21 days has turned out to be misplaced and plainly the virus is right here to remain till a vaccine is discovered.
“I’m additionally of the view that the federal government is unsure in regards to the standards for lockdowns, nor does it have an exit technique. The successive lockdowns have yielded diminishing returns. The authorities additionally stumbled badly on the testing technique and import of take a look at kits.
“Meanwhile, the pandemic continues to take its toll. The financial system has been gravely crippled. Every economist of reputation had pointed in the direction of a right away want for a large fiscal stimulus,” she mentioned.
Gandhi additionally expressed grief on the monumental injury attributable to Cyclone Amphan in Odisha and West Bengal, together with the lack of 80 lives.
The leaders of 22 opposition events, together with West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee, Maharashtra Chief Minister and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, Jharkhand Chief Minister and JMM chief Hemant Soren, NCP supremo Sharad Pawar, DMK chief M Okay Stalin and JD(S) chief HD Deve Gowda, in addition to CPI-M’s Sitaram Yechury and CPI’s D Raja participated within the assembly.
Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi, AK Antony, Ahmed Patel, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and Mallikarjun Kharge have been additionally current.
Leaders of another regional events similar to Sharad Yadav (LJD), Omar Abdullah (NC), Tejashwi Yadav (RJD), Jitan Ram Manjhi (HAM), Upendra Kushwaha (RLSP), Jose Okay Mani (KC-M), Badruddin Ajmal (AIUDF), Jayant Chaudhary (RLD) and Raju Shetty (Swabhimani Paksha) additionally participated.