The letter was signed by Sonia Gandhi, HD Deve Gowda, Sharad Pawar, Uddhav Thackeray, Mamata Banerjee, MK Stalin, Hemant Soren, Farooq Abdullah, Akhilesh Yadav, Tejashwi Yadav, D Raja and Sitaram Yechury.
Demanding a free, universal mass vaccination campaign across the country, they said that the vaccines should be procured centrally from all available sources – global and domestic.
The leaders advised the prime minister to spend Rs 35,000 crores allocated in the budget for the vaccines. They also said that the Central Vista construction should be stopped and that the money should be used for procuring oxygen and vaccines instead.
The leaders demanded Rs 6000 be given to all jobless people and free distribution of food grains to the needy.
“We have repeatedly in the past drawn your attention, independently and jointly, to the various measures that are absolutely imperative for the Central government to undertake and implement. Unfortunately, your government has either ignored or refused all these suggestions. This only compounded the situation to reach such an apocalyptic human tragedy,” read the letter.
“Though it has not been the practice of your office or government, we would appreciate a response to our suggestions in the interests of India and our people,” the letter added.
Here are the 9 points highlighted in the letter:
1. Procure vaccines centrally from all available sources – global and domestic.
2. Immediately begin a free, universal mass vaccination campaign across the country.
3. Invoke compulsory licensing to expand domestic vaccine production.
4. Spend budgetary allocation of Rs. 35,000 crores for the vaccines.
5. Stop Central Vista construction. Use the allocated money for procuring oxygen and vaccines, instead.
6. Release all money held in the unaccounted private trust fund, PMCares to buy more vaccines, Oxygen and medical equipment required.
7. Give all jobless at least Rs. 6000 per month.
8. Free distribution of food grains to the needy (over one crore tonnes of food grains are currently rotting in central godowns).
9. Repeal farm laws to protect lakhs of our anmadatas from becoming victims of the pandemic so that they can continue to produce food to feed the Indian people.