New Delhi: With COVID-19 infections spreading rapidly in the country, the Congress on Wednesday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of being negligent, careless and callous in tackling the virus and jeopardising the lives of Indians, and asked him to follow “raj dharma”.

Congress general secretary and chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said the Modi government has been completely careless and cruel when it comes to ensuring life-saving drugs, providing oxygen and vaccines to Indians, and has proved incompetent in controlling the spread of the virus.

India reported a maximum of around 1.85 lakh cases and 1,027 deaths due to COVID-19 on Wednesday and now has the second highest number of infections after the United States.

Surjewala said while there is an acute shortage of vaccines across the country, the government is busy abusing state governments raising the issue with baseless and senseless allegations.

He also demanded that the government agree to the requests of students by postponing or cancelling the CBSE board exams and not risk their lives by making them sit for the exams physically when infections are spreading fast.

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“The prime minister is negligent, careless, cruel and callous in tackling COVID-19. The Modi government has jeopardised the lives of Indians by its negligent conduct,” he said at a press conference.

“The government has been completely careless and cruel when it comes to ensuring life-saving drugs, oxygen and availability of beds, ramping up health infrastructure and ramping up vaccine production. It has proved incompetent in handling COVID-19,” he told reporters.

Surjewala asked how can the government export vaccine when it is in acute shortage in the country and when there is no vaccine for Indians.

He said when Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi gave the suggestion to grant emergency approval to foreign vaccines, the government agreed but union ministers Ravi Shankar Prasad and Smriti Irani attacked them with baseless and senseless allegations.

“This is a national emergency happening and we know that the prime minister is busy campaigning, but the prime minister must follow raj dharma. There is no ‘you versus us’ debate. It is ‘we versus corona’,” he said.

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