Published On: Fri, Apr 23rd, 2021

‘Kejriwal used COVID-19 meeting with PM to play politics’

New Delhi: Central government sources on Friday said that Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal used his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the COVID-19 situation as a platform to “play politics over a serious issue and evade responsibility.”

If I have committed any mistake then I apologize for it

Govt sources said Delhi CM raised the point of airlifting oxygen but did not know that it is already being done. They added, “He spoke about Oxygen express by Railways but Railway sources say that he has not communicated anything about it to Railways.”

“Kejriwal has descended to a new low. For the first time, private conversations of PM’s meeting with the CMs were televised. His entire speech was not meant for any solution but for playing politics and evade responsibility” the govt sources said.

During the meeting, the Delhi CM raised an alarm that a “big tragedy” may happen due to oxygen shortage in hospitals during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chief Minister Kejriwal stressed that the Centre should take control of all oxygen plants through the Army. During the meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the COVID-19 situation, Kejriwal requested him to direct chief ministers of all states to ensure smooth movement of oxygen tankers coming to the national capital.

“People are in major pain due to oxygen shortage. We fear a big tragedy may happen due to oxygen shortage and we will never be able to forgive ourselves. I request you with folded hands to direct all CMs to ensure smooth movement of oxygen tankers coming to Delhi,” he said during the meeting.

“We need a national plan to deal with the crisis. Centre government should take over all oxygen plants through the Army and every tanker coming out of the oxygen plant should be accompanied by an Army escort vehicle,” he said.

“The oxygen supply scheduled to come to Delhi from Odisha and West Bengal should either be airlifted or brought through the Oxygen express started by the Centre,” he said.

The Delhi chief minister also objected to different rates being charged from state governments and the Centre for the COVID-19 vaccine and said the “one nation, one rate” policy should be followed.

Prime Minister Modi held a meeting on Friday with chief ministers of 10 states with the most number of COVID-19 cases. The meeting via video conferencing comes amid a huge surge in coronavirus cases, which have now clocked a daily total of over 3 lakh in the country.

Chief ministers of Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Delhi are among those who attended the meeting.

PM Modi will hold a meeting with leading oxygen manufacturers in the country via video conference amid concerns expressed by some states that their supply of the life-saving gas is running short with a number of hospitals sending out SOS.

With the COVID cases rising at a rapid pace in the country, PM Modi has been chairing regular meetings to review the situation. He had also addressed the nation on Tuesday.

When Prime Minister Narendra Modi advised Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to follow the government protocol after the latter’s office did a live telecast of the internal meeting on tackling Covid-19 on Friday between the Prime Minister and the Chief Ministers of different states. Kejriwal apologized for his act after Modi expressed displeasure.

The Prime Minister had called a virtual meeting of the chief ministers of the states severely affected by Covid-19 on Friday. During this, Modi came to know that this internal meeting is being broadcast live by Arvind Kejriwal’s office. Modi rebuked Kejriwal, saying “It is against government protocol that a sitting Chief Minister of a state live telecasts an in-house meeting. It is not fair. We should follow the government protocol.”

Kejriwal apologized, saying “If I have committed any mistake then I apologize for it. Whatever instructions have been directed in the meeting on Friday, we will follow those instructions.”

Central government sources alleged that during this virtual meeting, the Delhi Chief Minister made political statements instead of making suggestions to tackle the Covid-19 situation. The states are being helped by plying the Oxygen Express trains by the Indian Railways, but the Delhi government did not make any such demand.

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