Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi on Thursday expressed anguish over the unprecedented rise in the prices of edible oil, pulses, household goods, fuel prices, saying it is causing intolerable burden and widespread distress.
Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala in a tweet said, “Congress president expresses anguish and dismay at the unprecedented rise in prices of edible oil, pulses and household goods. Sonia Gandhi also conveys the pain of the common man from back breaking rise in price of Petrol-Diesel and profiteering from daily increase in prices.”
She made the remarks at the meeting of the Congress general secretaries and in-charges of the party.
Surjewala also said that the Congress chief also expressed deep concern on the pace of vaccine, placing the need to prepare for the third wave of Covid-19 including protecting the children.
Addressing the party leaders, Sonia Gandhi said that party general secretary K.C. Venugopal has sent four important circulars to all of them recently. “Three of them dealt with the Covid-19 pandemic and the one dated June 7 concerned the rise in the fuel prices.”
She said that very specific programmes for Congress had been suggested and “I am confident that you have followed up in your respective states”.
Talking about the role of the party, Sonia Gandhi said, “On the pandemic let me say that it is absolutely essential that our party plays an active role in ensuring full vaccination coverage. At the national level, the daily rate if vaccination has to treble so that 75 per cent of our population gets fully vaccinated by the end of this year.”
She further said that no doubt, this is dependent entirely on the adequacy of vaccine supply. “We must continue to put pressure on the union government which has at our party’s insistence, finally taken on the responsibility for this,” she said.
She also said that at the same time we have to ensure that registration takes place, that vaccine hesitancy wherever evident is overcome and vaccine wastage is minimised. “There are two additional points on the pandemic that I wish to make. Experts are already talking of a possible third wave a few months from now on. Some of them have been pointing to the vulnerability of children in the coming months. This too requires our urgent attention and we must take proactive measures so that they are spared this calamity,” Sonia Gandhi said.
She also said that we have to take steps to be better prepared if and when this strikes, “The second wave of these past four months has been devastating for lakhs and lakhs of individual families all over the country. We must learn from this traumatic experience so that we do not have to experience it yet again.”
Discussing the party’s White Paper released on Covid mismanagement by the party, Sonia Gandhi said that it is very detailed and needs to be disseminated widely. “I hope this gets done urgently,” she said.
Citing the rise in the fuel prices, Sonia Gandhi said, “You all are aware of the intolerable burden being imposed by rising fuel prices. Agitations have been organised to highlight how it is hurting farmers and millions of families. But quiet apart from fuel, prices of many other essential commodities like pulses and edible oils too have skyrocketed causing widespread distress.”
“This price rise is taking place at a time when livelihoods are being lost in unprecedented numbers, when there is mounting unemployment and when economic recovery is not a reality,” she said.
The Congress leader said that “I want to place on record our deep sense of appreciation for the efforts of so many of our colleagues in extending and mobilising relief during these past troubled months”.