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Kharge sends Modi 6 Covid suggestions, seeks all-party meeting | India News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: Leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge on Sunday wrote to PM Narendra Modi seeking an all-party meeting for a “collective and consensual” approach to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.

Writing to the PM with six suggestions on ways to overcome the crisis, Kharge echoed the views of party president Sonia Gandhi, former PM Manmohan Singh and MP Rahul Gandhi, who have all written to the government emphasising on the need for an all-party meeting.

He said that while most nations had planned in advance, prioritised their people and put in place contingencies for the anticipated second and third waves of the pandemic, such plans appeared to be missing in the Indian context. “Experts have warned us that although the situation is dire, it can become far worse if leadership is not immediately exercised. So, for the well-being of our people and in the national interest, I urge you to consider the suggestions outlined in this letter,” Kharge said.

Among key suggestions, he said the government must use the Rs 35,000 crore allocated in the Union budget for free mass vaccination, adding that allowing private firms to set differential prices for vaccines would adversely impact Indians. “I, therefore, urge you to not relinquish the state’s moral duty in immunising citizens. This is completely doable because India has a history of successful, large-scale immunisation programmes,” he added. Kharge reiterated Congress’s demand to leverage compulsory licensing to increase vaccine production, besides waiver of GST on vaccines, PPE kits, ventilators and oxygen equipment.

He said the government should expedite distribution of relief material from foreign countries.

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