NCP calls for ‘one nation, one policy’ to tackle COVID-19

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The ruling NCP and Congress in Maharashtra on Monday hit out at the Centre over its handling of the COVID-19 situation in the country and called for “one nation, one policy” to fight the pandemic. State Minority Affairs Minister and NCP leader Nawab Malik also demanded that the Narendra Modi government convene an all-party meeting to chalk out the policy.

“The coronavirus cannot be eradicated only through advertisements at a time when there is a need to work out ‘one nation, one policy’ considering the current COVID-19 situation in the country,” a statement said quoting Malik.

He claimed the situation in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar was such that the last rites of COVID-19 victims were being performed in rivers instead of crematoriums.

“The COVID-19 pandemic cannot be tackled until there is one policy for the country. The Modi government should call an all-party meeting to decide the policy,” he said.

There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that “the Centre is not able to handle the COVID-19 situation,” he claimed.

Malik also referred to the constitution of a 12-member National Task Force of top medical experts by the Supreme Court to formulate a methodology for oxygen allocation to states and Union Territories and to facilitate a public health response to the pandemic.

“The Centre is not carrying out works which it is supposed to. So, these are being carried out by court orders. This means the (central) government is falling short of discharging its duty,” the NCP leader alleged.

Maharashtra Revenue Minister and senior Congress leader Balasaheb Thorat targeted the Centre over its vaccination programme, saying it has unfortunately been proved that the Modi government “does not have” any proper policy and planning to inoculate people.

“The Centre earlier talked about successfully tackling the first wave (of COVID-19)…(but) the way elections were held, the way Kumbh Mela was organised…the entire country is suffering consequences of the same,” Thorat told reporters here.

“The central government, its leadership, Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji are completely responsible for it, he claimed.

The SC had to intervene and form the task force, Thorat noted, and asked what exactly was the Centre doing.

“It is being seen that it (the Centre) is not serious about anything,” he claimed.

Thorat also claimed that adequate number of vaccine doses were not being made available to states to inoculate people in the age group of 18 to 44 years.

He charged the Centre with not giving permission to foreign players willing to provide vaccines to India.

Thorat also demanded that the Centre allow states to develop their own apps for people to register for vaccination.

The Shiv Sena, which shares power in Maharashtra with the NCP and Congress, also hit out at the Centre, saying the SC took the step of forming the task force considering the COVID-19 situation, but “those ruling the country are engaged in politics”.

They were busy in appointing chief minister of Assam (after the recently held Assembly polls) and “in conspiring” to not let the Trinamool Congress-led government in West Bengal do its work, an editorial in the Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ alleged without naming the BJP or its leaders.

“At such a time, what should the people, who are about to die, do? Who is their saviour?” it asked.

The Supreme Court’s heart melted and it formed the national task force of 12 experts, the editorial noted.

“This committee should now pump life into the collapsed health care system,” it said.

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