Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a meeting with chief ministers of 10 states ravaged by coronavirus pandemic to discuss the situation. Among these was Delhi chief minister Arvid Kejriwal. Delhi has lately been on tenterhooks as the infection continues to rage, putting immense pressure on healthcare infrastructure, including shortage of oxygen.
However, Kejriwal faced flak when he went ahead with the live telecast of his address during the meeting. This hasn’t gone well with people in the political arena as the meeting was considered to ‘confidential’.
“Kejriwal used this platform only to do politics rather than focusing on what can be done to make the situation in Delhi better,” sources in the government said adding that excerpts of his speech show that he spoke about the need to airlift oxygen and run oxygen express trains sources. The sources said that it is shocking to see that the chief minister of the national capital did not know that oxygen is already being airlifted with the help of Indian Air Force, in addition to Railway Ministry’s oxygen express trains. These trains have been working on the request of state governments, but no such request has come from Delhi chief minister, sources said.
The sources also accused Kejriwal of trying to create misunderstanding between the states and Centre by trying to hint that the Centre was withholding vaccines. Centre accused Kejriwal of playing politics and passing the buck to the Centre over the coronavirus situation.
However, the Delhi government clarified that there was no instruction on keeping the meeting private. “There have been multiple occasions of similar interactions where matters of public importance which had no confidential information were shared live. However, if any inconvenience was caused we highly regret that,” it said in a statement.
Now, a video of the meeting has surfaced where PM Modi without naming Kejriwal says that a practice of confidentiality is in practice. “There is a practice of confidentiality in place and it is in appropriate for a chief minister in our midst to do a live telecast,” he says. To this, Kejriwal is seen repeatedly apologising.
Miffed with Kejriwal, Centre said that despite extending help to Delhi, Kejriwal has failed the national capital. It said that Delhi was assisted in increasing the number of beds, some of them with PM-CARES fund, across hospitals.
“Central government has ensured DRDO facility with 500 ICU beds, funded from PM CARES Fund, has been re-activated at Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel COVID Hospital, Delhi Cantt, 250 beds operational since 19th April, and another 250 beds likely to be operational by April 23,” Centre said.
Among other initiatives it enlisted provision of medical manpower for re-activating Sardar Patel COVID Care Centre (SPCCC) at Chhattarpur, increase in bed capacity from 1090 to 3800. “Per day oxygen allocation of Delhi was increased from 378 metric tonnes to 480 metric tonnes”.
(Text credit - News18)