Delhi Coronavirus Cases: AAP and BJP leaders are locked in a full blown war to claim credit over measures being introduced to bring the Covid situation under control.
The buck stops with the Delhi Chief Minister when it comes to the shortcomings that the capital faces in its fight against the coronavirus pandemic, CM Arvind Kejriwal today said, as he showered rich praise on the Bharatiya Janata Party-led central government over its role in helping the capital deal with the outbreak. “All the credit for everything good that is happening in the capital in terms of saving lives, while all shortcomings are my responsibility,” Kejriwal told Aaj Tak in an interview.
Kejriwal’s stand appears odd not just for his constant opposition to the BJP but because of the intense virtual war which has broken out between the Delhi unit of Bharatiya Janata Party leaders and the ruling Aam Aadmi Party in the national capital over the handling of the coronavirus situation.
Leaders of both sides have been locked in a full blown war to claim credit over measures being introduced in the capital to bring the situation under control. However, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his deputy Manish Sisodia have struck a different chord and are all praise for Centre in Delhi’s fight against COVID-19.
Both Kejriwal and Sisodia are openly saying that the Centre has always stood by them in their fight against the coronavirus, marking a shift from their earlier stand of criticising the Centre and accusing it of creating roadblocks.
“The fight against corona is big. It is foolish to assume that any agency, institution or government can singularly win this fight. We need the support of all… I sought help from the Central government. I am thankful to the Centre for helping us, they provided us with rapid testing kits,” Kejriwal said.
The CM admitted that there was a lack of beds in Delhi hospitals in the first week of June but the situation has improved now. He claimed that there is no lack of beds in Delhi hospitals now.
“I thank the Central government.. with their help we have increased the testing four times in Delhi. In the first week of June, we were testing 5,000, today we are testing nearly 30,000,” he said.
Sisodia too echoed similar views a day ago, saying the Centre has always supported the city government in the fight against the deadly virus.
“Our Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal sought help and support of every agency to battle coronavirus in Delhi. We got tremendous support from the Central government, religious organisations like Radha Swami Satsang, Akshardham Temple trust, Terapanthi, various hotels, banquets halls, private hospitals and NGOs like doctors for you,” Sisodia said.
Delhi has reported a consistent surge in the number of cases of coronavirus over the past few weeks. Also, the curve of death cases has shot up considerably. The city government had earlier estimated that the number of cases could go upto 5.5 lakh by July end and started preparations to deal with the situation to meet the demands of beds in hospitals.
In view of the alarming situation, Union Home Minister Amit Shah stepped in and held several review meetings along with CM Arvind Kejriwal and visited hospitals.
Several banquet halls, religious places and indoor stadiums were acquired and turned into makeshift hospitals.
This armed the BJP leaders to claim that the situation was brought under control by Shah as the Kejriwal government was unable to handle the situation. The saffron party leaders also alleged mismanagement in hospitals and directly blamed the Chief Minister for the worsening situation in the national capital.
When Kejriwal was asked about the credit war that has been going on between the BJP and AAP leaders, he replied: “All credit goes to them (Delhi BJP) and I am the one who is responsible for all the flaws in Delhi.”
“My priority is to save lives, I am trying to find a solution to the problems. For me, this is not a fight for claiming credit,” he said.
The AAP leaders, on the other hand, credited CM Kejriwal saying his government is taking decisions that are in the interest of the people and providing the best possible health facilities to the residents of Delhi.
Notably, the Aam Aadmi Party government took a decision to seal the borders and restricted outsiders from availing health facilities at the city run hospitals. These decisions evoked sharp criticism from the BJP leaders. While the matter related to the border was resolved after the Supreme Court’s intervention, the decision to allow only bonafide residents to avail health services at city hospitals was overruled by L-G Anil Baijal.
The L-G’s decision was welcomed by the BJP and left the AAP leaders fuming on the expected lines. However, CM Kejriwal and Sisodia this time reacted cautiously and didn’t blame the Centre and instead said they will abide by the order.
Lately, the government said that it is preparing to deal with every situation and dedicated Covid facilities were set up in the national capital. The latest facility in the question has been named after India’s first Home minister Sardar Vallabhai Patel whom the BJP leaders including PM Narendra Modi and HM Home Minister Amit Shah often glorify.
The Sardar Patel Covid Care Centre and Hospital is located in Chattarpur. The naming of the facility gave ammunition to the AAP leaders to fire salvos at the BJP.
The AAP leaders’ barbs came at a time when armies of India and China are locked in a standoff in Ladakh region where 20 Indian soldiers were killed by the Chinese troops in a violent clash on June 15. The martyrdom of the 20 soldiers left the nation in a state of shock with people hitting the streets to boycott Chinese products. Several politicians, especially from the ruling dispensation, have also suggested boycotting Chinese products and give it a befitting response on the economic front.
Seeking to corner the Modi government, AAP leaders on Monday launched an all-out attack as they took to Twitter to compare the ‘Made in China’ statue of Sardar Patel in Gujarat with the Sardar Patel Covid Care Centre and Hospital in Delhi.
AAP MLA Saurabh Bharadwaj tweeted a picture of Sardar Patel’s Statue of Unity, the tallest statue in the world in Gujarat, and the Sardar Patel Vocid facility in Delhi to heap praise on CM Kejriwal.
“What I love the most about Arvind Kejriwal is his IQ. Anybody entering this Delhi Govt Hospital will remember the Gujarat’s ‘Made in China’ Statue built with 2000 crores,” he said.
Another AAP MLA Atishi Marlena too shared a pic depicting the Statue of Unity and Covid facility in Chattarpur. She wrote that while the Statue of Unity was built by BJP, the Sardar Patel Covid centre was set up by Kejriwal.
“Arvind Kejriwal gives what is a true tribute to Sardar Patel – India’s largest medical facility at the time of a global pandemic! This is the India that Sardar Patel would be proud of; not one where billions of rupees are wasted on statues,” she tweeted.
The Statue of Unity in Narmada district of Gujarat is the tallest statue in the world. It was inaugurated in 2018 by PM Narendra Modi. Opposition leaders have often raised questions over the priorities of the Modi government of building a statue and that too having Chinese links.
The Covid facility in Chattarpur is India’s largest facility. It became operational after Amit Shah and Arvind Kejriwal inspected the facility on Saturday. The 10,200-bed facility has been named Sardar Patel Covid Care Centre and Hospital.