NEW DELHI: The Congress accused Health Minister Harsh Vardhan and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday of being "cold-hearted" and bringing disrepute to the country, and demanded that they be sacked immediately.
The opposition party also accused the government of getting its priorities wrong and being insensitive to the problems of the common people suffering due to COVID-19 and said it is interested in image and perception management, instead of doing reality management of the pandemic that has hit the country hard and caused widespread damage and deaths.
Congress spokesperson Supriya Shrinate said the government has got its priorities wrong as it is interested in managing headlines and image-building at a time when people are dying due to a shortage of oxygen, ICU beds and life-saving medicines.
"The Congress urges Prime Minister Narendra Modi to sack both S Jaishankar and Harsh Vardhan as they are making fun of people's miseries. These two ministers are bringing disrepute to the country. While the health minister is totally missing in action, Jaishankar is acting like a petty troll," she told reporters.
"The prime minister should get rid of and sack the two ministers, who are acting against the interests of people, bringing disrepute to the country and are cold-hearted to people's pain and sufferings," Shrinate said.
She alleged that the external affairs minister does not have the respect for the post he holds and does not behove the position.
The Congress leader also asked when will the current BJP-led dispensation stop blaming the previous governments and start admitting its own failures.
She urged Modi to stop all non-essential expenses, including the Central Vista project and the prime minister's residence and divert every resource available for improving health facilities to fight the coronavirus.
Shrinate also said the government should bring in transparency in the foreign aid that is coming to the country and disclose the details of the recipients and how it is being distributed.
She said the prime minister should speak to doctors, scientists and experts in order to control COVID-19 and stop living in echo chambers.
"Instead of doing reality management, they are more interested in perception and media management," Shrinate said.
She alleged that there is no protocol or guidelines as regards the distribution of the relief received from abroad and questioned the delay in the disbursal of foreign aid for COVID-19 due to which 23,000 people died over a week, from April 26 to May 2, when guidelines were not in place.
"We want to ask the government as to what is it doing to control the third wave of COVID-19," she said.