New Delhi: As many as 12 major opposition parties, including four chief ministers, have written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging the government to stop the Central Vista project and instead use the money to procure oxygen and vaccines following a brutal second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“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 quoted the parties saying by news agency IANS.
The leaders demanded that the vaccines should be procured centrally from all available sources — global and domestic. Immediately begin a free, universal mass vaccination campaign across the country and invoke compulsory licensing to expand domestic vaccine production, they said.
According to the letter, the budgetary allocation of Rs 35,000 crores should be spent for the vaccines and the Central Vista construction should be stopped and the allocated money should be used for procuring oxygen and vaccines instead.
The letter said that all money held in the unaccounted private trust fund, PM Cares to buy more vaccines, Oxygen and medical equipment.
“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.” the letter was quoted by the agency.
The letter also attacked the Prime Minister. “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,” it said.
Sonia Gandhi (Congress), 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), Tejashwi Yadav (RJD), D Raja (CPI) and Sitaram Yechury (CPI-M) signed the letter.