Make public details of all foreign aid and where it is going: Cong to PM

Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi during an election campaign for West Bengal Assembly polls, at Kawakhali near Siliguri, Saturday, April 10, 2021. Photo: PTI

New Delhi: The Congress on Monday demanded transparency in the distribution of aid during the COVID-19 pandemic and urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to make public details of all relief material received by India from different countries.

Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera expressed hope that the party which wanted to make India Congress-free would strive to make the country free of COVID pandemic and work with sincerity in achieving this.

He also took a swipe at Health Minister Harsh Vardhan over what he claimed was the world's largest vaccination programme and said it is one without vaccines.

"The prime minister should make public the relief coming in from various countries to ensure transparency, so that people should know where the relief material is coming and going. This is our demand as well as that of the people of the country," he told reporters.

The Congress leader said the party is there to support the government in the fight against COVID pandemic, but stressed that transparency is very important.

"Please be transparent, everybody is fighting this pandemic together. But, for this fight to succeed, the keystone is sincerity and transparency," he said.

Khera noted that everyone has witnessed the tragedy in different parts of the country, including in Delhi, with hospitals pleading and begging for oxygen and wondered what the situation would be in remote areas.

"If this government has done anything, it is media management and headline management but not crisis management in these tough times," he alleged.

COVID-19 vaccines are not available even after people have for registered vaccination on website and the situation with oxygen is the same, he also alleged.

"It is an irony that the government considers the Central Vista an essential service while thousands of people are craving for oxygen and vaccines. You (Centre) are patting your back for the world's largest vaccination project, without vaccines being made available," he said.

Taking a swipe at External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar after a spat with Congress leaders in the wake of some foreign embassies seeking the help of Youth Congress in getting oxygen, he said, "You are shamelessly questioning the embassies".

"Stop questioning the embassies, start questioning yourself, where an MP is seeking help and embassies are asking for help in public while tagging the Congress. It is a shame for the country that we have come to this," he said.

Khera said the Congress will question the prime minister for his "ill-timed decision" of exporting the vaccine, oxygen and remdesivir.

"We owe it to the people to stop the government from committing blunders as we are answerable to Indians as an opposition party. We have to stop you from committing mistakes and if we do not stop you, lives will be lost," the Congress leader said.

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