I just want to make it clear that a lockdown is now the only option : Rahul Gandhi

Rahul Gandhi, Congress :

I just want to make it clear that a lockdown is now the only option because of a complete lack of strategy by GOI.

They allowed, rather, they actively helped the virus reach this stage where there’s no other way to stop it.

A crime has been committed against India.

Rahul Gandhi Farmers

We accept the election verdict with humility & a sense of responsibility. We demand that Modi Govt now rise above partisan political campaign & concentrate upon tackling Covid: RS Surjewala

We accept the verdict with humility & a sense of responsibility

We demand that Modi Govt now rise above partisan political campaign & concentrate upon tackling Covid, providing medicines, oxygen, ramping up hospital infrastructure & ensure universal vaccination for all

RS Surjewala – General Secretary, Congress

Statement of Randeep Singh Surjewala, General Secretary, AICC:

People’s mandate is the final word in democracy. People of West Bengal, Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry have given their democratic mandate for next five years. We accept the verdict with humility and a sense of responsibility.

We recognize that the election results are not as per our expectations, particularly those of Assam and Kerala.

We have lost the election in Assam, Kerala, Puducherry and West Bengal but we have neither lost our morale nor our resolve or determination to continuously become people’s voice in these times of unprecedented calamity.

The Congress Party will definitely study the results and all the reasons diligently and we are committed to correct our mistakes and do appropriate course correction.

We take this opportunity to recognize that our workers and leaders worked unitedly on the ground and gave their best, yet the people’s verdict was not in our favour.

Congress Party and its workers have a deep rooted personal connect with the people of the country, particularly in the five States where elections were held.

We shall endeavor and work harder to build greater faith and affinity between the Party and the people. We shall fulfill our commitment of a responsible opposition in both the States of Assam and Kerala to raise people’s issues, inside & outside the Assembly.

We also congratulate the people of West Bengal, who have decimated the vicious divisive agenda as also money and muscle power of the Bhartiya Janata Party.

They have chosen peace & brotherhood over division and hatred. While the Bengal results are a matter of concern, discussion and deliberation for the Congress Party, we congratulate Ms Mamata Banerjee for her resounding victory and her determination in defeating the BJP.

We also congratulate Bhartiya Janata Party and Shri Sarbananda Sonowal for their victory in Assam as also LDF & Shri Pinarayi Vijayan for their victory in Kerala.

We sincerely hope that they will work to fulfill all their electoral promises as also do their best to protect lives in times of pandemic.

In Tamil Nadu, Congress fought as part of the DMK alliance. The DMK alliance led by Shri M.K. Stalin has emerged victorious, defeating the AIADMK-BJP alliance.

We thank the people of Tamil Nadu for their wisdom & faith and congratulate Shri M.K. Stalin for leading the alliance to victory.

We are committed to work together, fulfill the election promises and ensure the State’s development.

Presently, the biggest challenge facing the country is to defeat the unprecedented Covid pandemic. Congress Party, along with its frontal organizations like the Youth Congress, is leaving no stone unturned to contribute in every way possible.

We demand that Modi Govt now rise above the partisan political campaign and concentrate upon tackling Covid, providing life saving medicines and oxygen, ramping up hospital infrastructure and ensure universal vaccination for all. This is the bounden duty of each and every Indian.

We congratulate the Congress-DMK leaders & workers of Kanyakumari Parliament Constituency & our young candidate Vijay Vasanth for the resounding victory: RS Surjewala

We congratulate the UDF-Congress-IUML for winning the Malappuram Parliament seat.

We thank the people for reposing faith.

We congratulate the Congress-DMK leaders & workers of Kanyakumari Parliament Constituency & our young candidate Vijay Vasanth for the resounding victory.

We thank the people of Kanyakumari Parliament Constituency for their love, affection and support.

Thank the voters of Belgaum Parliament for overwhelming support and love.

Though our valiant fighter & leader Satish Jarkiholi lost by a whisker of 2,900 votes only, his resilience and worker’s hard work ensured that we won 5 out of 8 assembly segments.

Keep up the good work!

RS SUrjewala – General Secretary, congress

Evolve a national policy to deal with the COVID crisis in the country and bring about a political consensus over it : Sonia Gandhi

Sonia Gandhi, Congress President :

I wish you and your family safety and good health in this challenging time of Corona epidemic. My heartfelt condolences to the millions of families who have lost their loved ones.

This is a challenging time for our country and we all have to hold hands together and become a strength of one another.

I urge everyone to safeguard yourself by following all the safety protocols and help each other during this pandemic.

As far as the Government is concerned, it is time to wake up and fulfill their duties. Helping the poor should be their first priority and I urge the centre to deposit Rs 6000/- each to the bank accounts of all to stop their migration, till thepandemic is over.

The discrimination over vaccine pricing should end and black marketing of life-saving drugs must be stopped and all industrial oxygen should be provided to hospitals for medical purposes.

With the consensus of all political parties, I urge the Central government to evolve a national policy to deal with the COVID crisis in the country.

SONIA GANDHI, CONGRESS PRESIDENT

COVID-19 vaccine should be provided free of cost to all the citizens and vaccine production must be ramped up to speed up the country’s vaccination drive to help save people’s lives.

Even earlier the country has faced with several such crisis, but with unity and determination, we have been able to overcome such crisis.

Grateful that Supreme Court has raised the two issues that the Congress had first raised 15 days ago: P Chidambaram

P Chidambaram - India News

P Chidambaram – Former Union Finance Minister:

Grateful that Supreme Court has raised the two issues that the Congress had first raised 15 days ago: vaccine prices and compulsory licensing to manufacture vaccines

The government brushed aside the Congress.

The PM did not even acknowledge the letter of the former PM.

The Health Minister was rude in addition to being incompetent

Let us see how the government responds to the Supreme Court’s concerns and questions

Please allow virtual meetings of Standing Committees: Jairam Ramesh

I am requesting this once again for the umpteenth time.

Speaker Lok Sabha Om Birla and Chairman Rajya Sabha M Venkaiah Naidu, please allow virtual meetings of Standing Committees.

There are so many issues of utmost public importance that need to be discussed urgently.

jairam ramesh – mp, former union minister
P Chidambaram - India News

The two vaccine manufacturers have now put 5 prices on the table for similar vaccines.. : P Chidambaram

P Chidambaram – Former Union Finance Minister:

The government’s ineptitude has been called by the two vaccine manufacturers who have now put 5 prices on the table for similar vaccines and the government is silent! It is time to call the bluff of the two manufacturers.

The way to do it is to invoke compulsory licensing and invite price bids from other Pharma manufacturers that will include royalty payable to SII and Bharat Biotech. L1, L2 etc will reveal the true cost of manufacturing of the two vaccines including a reasonable profit.

There is a body of opinion that holds that even at Rs 150 per dose, the two current manufacturers will make a small profit.

If true, at Rs 400-1000, it will be profiteering. Perhaps that is what the government wants.  

Will the Ministry of Health please respond ?

P Chidambaram - India News

I urge the government to start preparing NOW in order to meet the much greater demand for vaccines on and after May 1: P Chidambaram

P Chidambaram – Former Union Finance Minister:

  • We welcomed the decision to vaccinate all above the age of 18 years. However, we have to caution the government that this decision brings with it huge responsibilities.

  • The first and foremost requirement is the availability of vaccines. There are widespread complaints about the lack of supply of vaccines.

  • The government’s claim that there is no shortage of vaccines is hollow and untrue.

  • When the surge in demand happens on May 1 and more people flock to hospitals for vaccination, will there be adequate stocks of vaccines all over the country?

  • If people are turned away at hospitals, there will be great resentment and protests.

  • The time to plan for May 1 started many weeks ago. Is the government prepared for May 1? I am sceptical.

  • Nevertheless, I urge the government to start preparing NOW in order to meet the much greater demand for vaccines on and after May 1

For our viewers and media friends – it will be your news source: KC Venugopal on INC TV

For our viewers and media friends –

it will be your news source,
it will be your archive,
it will be your resource hub, come and partake it,
for it is meant purely to enrich you – empower you,

so that you know the truth and nothing but truth

KC Venugopal – General Secretary, congress

Hoping to deal with it in a “positive” frame of mind, with rest, steam & plenty of fluids.. : Shashi Tharoor

Shashi Tharoor – MP, Congress leader:

After waiting two days for a test appointment and another day & a half for the results, I finally have confirmation: I’m Covid positive.

Hoping to deal with it in a “positive” frame of mind, with rest, steam & plenty of fluids.

My sister & 85 year old mother are in the same boat.

Folks should know that my sister has had two doses of the Pfizer vaccine in California and my mother & I took our second Covishield shot on April 8.

So we have every reason to hope that though vaccines cannot prevent infection, they will moderate the impact of the Covid virus.

India produces 7500 MT of Oxygen per day.. Oxygen shortage is due to lack of logistics to transport it: Priyanka Gandhi

India produces 7500 MT of O2 per day, we are one of the biggest producers in the world.

O2 shortage is due to lack of logistics to transport it.

Govt has failed us. Why did it not make arrangements when a second wave was inevitable?
There was time.

It’s still not too late.

For God’s sake Narendra Modi Ji do it now.

Use every resource you have at your disposal to move it to where it is needed.

People are dying. Every life matters.

File Pic

P Chidambaram - India News

In a country where median age is 28 yrs, to leave those less than 45 yrs out of a public-funded programme is, to say the least, callous: P Chidambaram

Special Congress Party Briefing by Shri P Chidambaram, Shri Ajay Maken and Shri Jairam Ramesh. Excerpts:

Our best wishes to Dr. Manmohan Singh for his full and speedy recovery. He is still in Hospital, but, I am told that he is stable and the progress is good

Govt of India has finally acknowledged problem of vaccine shortage & other deficiencies in current vaccine policy. While we welcome positive changes made, details show that the modified vaccine policy is, in crucial respects, regressive & inequitable

Under the modified vaccine policy, States will bear the responsibility & cost of vaccinating the poorer sections who are below the age of 45 years & are neither Health Care workers nor Frontline workers, as defined by the central government

GoI appears to have abdicated its responsibility towards poor by excluding them from its vaccination programme. In a country where median age is 28 yrs, to leave those < 45 yrs out of a public-funded programme is, to say the least, callous

The migrant workers who live and work in other states and are the lifeblood of the economy of our cities will be the worst affected by this directive

By liberalising the pricing of vaccine, and by not fixing a price for states at the same rate as it is available to the Union Government, the government is paving the way to unhealthy price bidding and profiteering

States with limited resources will be at considerable disadvantage. States that are already weighed down by shrinking GST revenues, lower tax devolution, reduced grants-in-aid and increased borrowing would have to bear this additional burden

Meanwhile, nobody knows where the thousands of crores of rupees collected under PM-CARES are being deployed

Union government’s vaccine policy refuses to grasp that the problem is not only of production, but also of financing, procurement and distribution of the vaccines, and of coordination with the states

Ignoring the suggestion of Dr. Manmohan Singh in his letter to the Prime Minister, the modified vaccine policy does not provide funds for capital investment to the vaccine manufacturers to ramp up production

Furthermore, the modified policy does not invoke the provisions in law for compulsory licensing to allow other domestic vaccine manufacturers to manufacture the approved vaccines and augment total supply

It is also not clear if the central government will take the initiative to import foreign-made vaccines and distribute them among the states

Under modified vaccine policy, Union Govt is running away from taking responsibility, overburdens the states, encourages vaccine manufacturers to profiteer, and will worsen the inequality between states as well between poor and rich Indians

Nowhere in the world has any government left its vaccination programme to be determined by the vagaries of market forces, and for good reason

We hope that the five points made by us above in a spirit of constructive cooperation at this time of grave national crisis will be considered seriously by the Central Government

No vaccine guarantee for weaker sections: Rahul Gandhi

Rahul Gandhi India News

Rahul Gandhi – Former Congress President:

• No free vaccines for 18-45 yr olds.

• Middlemen brought in without price controls.

• No vaccine guarantee for weaker sections.

GOI’s Vaccine Discrimination – Not Distribution – Strategy!

There is an immediate need to provide funds to the manufacturers of the two India-made vaccines to ramp up production: P Chidambaram

P Chidambaram - India News

The nation is gratified to know that practically all the suggestions in Dr Manmohan Singh’s letter have been accepted by the government. Better late than never

Two suggestions remain:
ONE, there is an immediate need to provide funds to the manufacturers of the two India-made vaccines to ramp up production.

TWO, there is an urgent need to invoke the provision of compulsory licensing of the India-made vaccines. That is the only way to use the enormous vaccine manufacturing capacity in India.

P Chidambaram Economy India News

Dr Manmohan Singh has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi containing five specific suggestions to fight the pandemic : P Chidambaram

P Chidambaram , Former Finance Minister :

  • Dr Manmohan Singh has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi containing five specific suggestions to fight the pandemic.
  • He has requested the PM to accept them immediately and act on them promptly.
  • Whether the government is open to good suggestions will be known from the action taken on the letter.
  • Also, whether the government is serious about containing the spread of the pandemic will also be known from its response.

Former PM Dr. Manmohan Singh writes to PM Modi on ramping up vaccination programme :

Key to our fight against Covid19 must be ramping up vaccination effort. We must resist temptation to look at absolute numbers being vaccinated, focus instead on percentage of population vaccinated

I am pleased to say that I have had an excellent conversation with Kerala Governor.. : Shashi Tharoor

Shashi Tharoor – MP, Congress leader :

I am pleased to say that I have had an excellent conversation with Kerala Governor Arif Mohd Khan, who heard me out sympathetically & has promised to consider the matter in his capacity as Chancellor/Visitor of all state universities.

Irresponsible to conduct physical exams now.

Following our conversation, & at his request, I have also sent him my own representation in writing so that it is a matter of official record.