'Only an insensitive government can make such statement': Priyanka on Yogi Adityanath's 'no oxygen shortage' remarks

By PTI
NEW DELHI: Alleging an abdication of leadership and governance by the Centre in the face of the COVID-19 second wave, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Tuesday urged people to show compassion and be each other’s strongest support to tide over the coronavirus crisis.

In a Facebook post titled ‘We Shall Overcome’, Priyanka Gandhi said that “by gathering up our strength amidst despair, by doing whatever we can to provide comfort to others, by refusing to tire and persisting with the will to carry on against all odds, we shall overcome”.

Reaching out to people in an emotional post, the Congress general secretary said, “My heart is heavy as I write to you today. I know that many of you have lost your loved ones in the last few weeks, many have family members who are struggling for life, and many are grappling with the disease at home, anxious and afraid of what is to come.”

Noting that there is no one who has not been affected by this “scourge”, she said that people across the country are “gasping for air, struggling to access medical care or simply to get the next dose of life saving medicine”.

“The government has failed us all. Even those of us who oppose and fight them could not have foreseen a complete abdication of leadership and governance at a time as devastating as this.

In our hearts, we too are still hoping that they will rise up and take steps that are imperative to save lives,” Priyanka Gandhi said.

But even though those given the sacred task of governing this nation have “let the country down” at this time of great crisis, people must not lose hope, she said.

Underlining that humanity has risen up to the challenge of adversity time and again, Priyanka Gandhi said India has seen great pain and suffering in the past as well, it has weathered cyclones and droughts, massive earthquakes, famines and devastating floods, and yet people’s spirit has not been broken.

“Every time we have faced a calamity, ordinary people, people like you and me, have come forward. Humanity has never failed us,” she said.

“Doctors, nurses and healthcare workers across our country are working endless hours under tremendous pressure, risking their own lives to save those who are suffering,” Priyanka Gandhi said.

The business community is diverting resources towards helping hospitals gain access to oxygen and other supplies, and there are organisations and individuals in every village, district, town and city who are doing whatever they can to assist and comfort those who are in pain, she noted.

“This basic goodness exists within each one of us. By reaching into it at times of great anguish our spirit as a nation can rise into its true grace and power,” the Congress leader said.

Recognizing the present time as a “turning point in our lives”, she said “we are being asked to push beyond all limits to find our own unlimited courage”.

“We are being challenged to set aside feelings of helplessness and fear and stay brave. We are together as one in this fight, regardless of our religions, our castes, our class or any other distinctions. The virus does not recognise them,” Priyanka Gandhi said.

“Let us show each other and the world the compassion and resilience that makes us Indian. We will be each other’s strongest support at this crossroads in our lives,” she said in her appeal to the people.

The Congress-led Opposition has been criticising the government over its handling of the pandemic and the vaccination drive, while the government has rejected all such criticism by opposition parties.