NEW DELHI: In a scathing attack on the Union government, Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Wednesday claimed that the Centre can hold talks with Pakistan's intelligence agency ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence) but can't talk to Opposition leaders amid the prevailing crisis.
Speaking to ANI the senior Congress leader said, "This government can speak to Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). They are speaking to ISI in Dubai. Can't they talk to Opposition leaders? I don't think there is any Opposition leader who's not giving them constructive and positive suggestions."
Targetting the Prime Minister amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis, she said, "Prime Minister should stop his public relation exercise and talk to the people and opposition parties over the crisis of COVID-19."
"Today I do not think that there is any opposition leader who is not giving constructive and positive suggestions. And all the political parties are saying that we are with you (Centre). In a democracy, work only progresses only by discussion, sometimes criticism has to be heard on such an occasion the whole country is facing this crisis," she said.
"This tu-tu main-main does not suit anyone, you (Prime Minister) have to stand with the public, add us all, we will fight together," she added.
"If opposition leaders do not raise their voice then who will?" she asked.
"Manmohan Singh ji was Prime Minister for 10 years. Everyone knows how dignified a person he is. If he is giving suggestions when the nation is facing a pandemic, then suggestions should be taken up with the same dignity with which they were offered," she said.
The comments of the Congress General Secretary came after former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh on Sunday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to "resist the temptation to look at the absolute number of vaccinations and focus on the percentage of the population vaccinated".
In a letter to PM Modi, Singh also listed suggestions for consideration "in a spirit of constructive cooperation". The letter was immediately rebutted by Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan who said history shall be kinder to Singh if his offer and valuable advice was followed by Congress members.
Meanwhile, continuing her attack on the Centre, the Congress General Secretary said, "For God's sake, Prime Minister Narendra Modi 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."
She also targeted the Bharatiya Janata Party for its continued election campaign in West Bengal despite a spike in COVID-19 numbers.
"The government needs to be sensitive at this time the Prime Minister needs to show up, he needs to get off the stage where he is laughing and cracking jokes," she said.
In view of the spike in COVID-19 cases, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Sunday announced the suspension of all his forthcoming public rallies in poll-bound West Bengal and advised other political leaders to do the same.
Meanwhile, the Congress General Secretary said that she has written to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath asking him to waive off permission by Chief Medical Officier for admitting COVID-19 patients to the hospitals.
Talking about the health care system in the state, she said that COVID-19 patients are facing a dire situation where they have to wait for hours before being hospitalised.
Nearly 3 lakh new COVID-19 cases and over 2,000 deaths were reported in India on Wednesday, a record-high since the pandemic broke last year.
As per the Union Health Ministry, as many as 2,95,041 new COVID-19 cases and 2,023 deaths were reported, taking the total cases to 1,56,16,130, including 21,57,538 active cases.
As many as 1,32,76,039 recoveries have been reported so far, out of which 1,67,457 were reported in the last 24 hours.