Government’s wrong decisions ‘killed’ 50 lakh people, alleges Rahul Gandhi


He cites a report of Washington-based think tank Centre for Global Development that offered 3 scenarios of ‘excess deaths’ between Jan. 2020 and June 2021

Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said wrong decisions of the Government of India (GoI) “killed” 50 lakh people during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a tweet, Mr. Gandhi cited a report of the Washington-based think tank, Centre for Global Development, that offered three different scenarios of “excess deaths” in India between January 2020 and June 2021.

“The Truth. GOI’s wrong decisions during Covid second wave killed 50 lakh of our sisters, brothers, mothers and fathers,” he tweeted, tagging the working paper of the Centre for Global Development.

The study — authored by Abhishek Anand, Justin Sandefur and Arvind Subramanian (former chief economic advisor to the GoI) — projected three different estimates: a conservative estimate of 3.4 million deaths using civic registration data from the States; another estimate of 4 million deaths using infection fatality ratio and finally, a third estimate of 4.9 million deaths based on an analysis of a consumer pyramid household survey.

Mr. Gandhi’s criticism of the government’s handling of the second wave of COVID-19 comes a day after the Rajya Sabha debated the issue on Tuesday. Participating in the debate, Congress’s deputy leader Anand Sharma raised the issue of “excess deaths” and urged the Centre to reconcile the figures from the States in order to give compensation to those who died of COVID-19.

Priyanka on oxygen shortage

Separately, party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra reacted to the Health Ministry’s written response in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday that no death was specifically reported because of oxygen shortage.

Ms. Vadra tweeted, “No deaths due to lack of oxygen: Central Government. The deaths happened because – in the pandemic year, the government increased oxygen exports by about 700 %”.

She alleged that the deaths occurred because the government did not arrange tankers to transport oxygen and ignored the advice of the empowered group and a parliamentary committee to ramp up supply.

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