22 October, 2020

Oxygen In Viral Season

Has COVID-19 brought the Congress back in the game?

Photo by PTI
Oxygen In Viral Season

Early morning on May 4, interim Congress president Sonia Gandhi announced that her party was prepared to foot the bill for transporting stranded migrant workers by rail to their home states. The message sent the Centre scampering for cover amid mounting criticism of its apparent decision to charge migrants not just the train fare, but also a surcharge. Within hours, Lav Agarwal, joint secretary (health) at the Centre, told the media that the fare would be split 85:15 between the Centre and the respective states.

From Rahul Gandhi’s February 12 tweet cautioning the Centre against the challenges the pandemic would pose, to scathing criticism of apathy towards migrants and the poor, the nationwide lockdown’s socio-political and economic impact has given the Congress ample ammunition. The ruling BJP had little choice. It had to announce damage-control measures suggested by the 11-member Congress consultative group on COVID-19. “The Centre simply has no plan,” says senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal. “After aggressively dismissing everything Rahul...



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