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SOURCE: HT

Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor has sharpened his attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Central government over its domestic as well as foreign policy ahead of the Monsoon session of Parliament. Speaking to news agency ANI, Shashi Tharoor accused the government of “terribly mismanaging” the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) situation, claiming there aren’t enough vaccines as people across the country are lining up at vaccination centres.

“This is a major issue for which the government should be held accountable,” ANI quoted Tharoor as saying. The Lok Sabha member from Thiruvananthapuram also asked about India’s perspective vis-à-vis Afghanistan at a time when the Taliban fighters are rapidly making advances in the war-torn country. India has invested more than $3 billion in Afghanistan for various projects, including reconstruction efforts, the 218-km road between Delaram and Zaranj Salma dam, and the Afghan Parliament building which was inaugurated in 2015.

“Where’s that (Afghanistan) country going at the moment and what’s India’s perspective (on that). Our taxpayers’ $3 billion is invested in Afghanistan. Is that all going to go down the drain as the Taliban coming back to power? These are important questions,” he added.

Tharoor’s statement suggests that Congress is likely to focus on the government’s pandemic response and the Afghan issue during the Monsoon session.

Earlier today, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla held a meeting with floor leaders where PM Modi was also present. After the meeting, Birla assured that all members will be given adequate opportunity to express their views within the decorum of the House. He said that the Monsoon session, which is commencing on Monday, is likely to conclude on August 13 subject to “exigencies of Government Business.”

“The Monsoon session of Parliament, 2021, will commence from July 19 and subject to exigencies of Government Business, session is likely to conclude on August 13. All members will be given adequate opportunities to express their views within the decorum of the House,” Birla was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.