08 April 2020
New Delhi: The Congress has slammed the Centre for "cowing to the threats of retaliation by the US President" on supply of hydroxychloroquine, which is out of stock in the retail medical shops.
The party said it is with the government on 'India First'.
Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera sought to differentiate between the language used by Brazilian President, which it said was "polite," and that of US President, which it found "threatening".
"India believes in helping others, but before taking any decision, 'India First' should be the motto of the government," said Khera. He gave the example of Indira Gandhi during the Bangladesh liberation war when she had categorically told the US that "Indian interests are foremost."
"Trump threatened India by asking the country to lift the ban on export of 'hydroxychloroquine' (the key salt said to be effective against coronavirus). Whether Trump has passed the test in this hour of crisis is not our business to comment on. The question whether we should have immediately buckled under pressure is something about which history will judge us," Khera added.
The Congress said the government should first look at India's requirements and shortage of essential items.
Congress leader Kapil Sibal too had hit out at the Prime Minister on Tuesday for lifting the temporary ban on hydroxychloroquine.
Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi, Shashi Tharoor and Jaiveer Shergill have criticised President Trump's alleged threat to retaliate in case India did not supply the drug requested by the US.