Tribune News Service
New Delhi, June 22
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday claimed the majority deaths due to the second Covid wave were needless and could have been averted had medicines and oxygen been made available in time.
Soon after Rahul released a white paper prepared by the Congress research department on the government handling of the pandemic and alleging mismanagement, Union Minister Smriti Irani hit back asking why cases and deaths were high in Congress-ruled states.
The BJP too held a press conference to attack Rahul who earlier asked the government to prepare for a third Covid wave.
“If you think the second Covid wave was bad the third will be worse. The government must prepare now for infrastructure, essential medicines and beds,” Rahul said, adding that though he believed that Covid deaths were five to six times higher than the official data, it would not help anyone to talk about the issue now.
In a swipe at PM Narendra Modi, who had become emotional in one of his addresses on Covid, Rahul said, “The PM’s tears did not save the lives of those who died, but oxygen may have saved them.”
Rahul termed yesterday’s record 88 lakh Covid vaccine dose delivery as “good” saying he hoped the government would sustain the momentum and vaccinate on war footing to ensure protection from viral mutations.
Irani asked, “Where did second wave start? — Congress-ruled states. Which states had huge percentage of India’s cases and deaths? Congress-ruled states. Highest fatality rate — Congress-ruled states.”
BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra accused the Congress of playing politics on Covid management and asked why Rahul did not take the jab when he became eligible after April 1 and if Priyanka Vadra and her family have taken the shots.
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