Why Blame PM Modi?: Assam Minister’s Dig At Arvind Kejriwal Over Covid Cases


Himanta Biswa Sarma said around 650 beds have been added as Covid cases continue to spike (File)


A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi interrupted Arvind Kejriwal over “protocol break” during a meeting with chief ministers to object to the discussion being televised by his office, Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma took a swipe at the Delhi Chief Minister. Mr Kejriwal has been making constant appeals to the central government for help as Covid cases soar in Delhi.

“Dear Sri @ArvindKejriwal- Assam has installed 8 Oxygen plants (5.25 MT/day) after #Covid crisis hit us; 5 in process. PM Sri @narendramodi gave Delhi funds for 8 plants through #PMCARES in Dec 2020. Why blame Modi, when your govt has failed and could install just one out of 8! (sic)” Himanta Biswa Sarma said in a tweet, tagging Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday.

The Assam Minister also pinned this tweet to appear first on his profile.

During a discussion with Prime Minister on Friday, beamed live on TV for some time, Arvind Kejriwal talked about the national capital’s crippling oxygen crisis as several hospitals in Delhi flagged an acute crises of oxygen on social media and approached the court for help.

At the meeting, Arvind Kejriwal informed PM Modi that a “big tragedy” could happen because of the oxygen shortage in Delhi hospitals and sought the Prime Minister’s intervention: “Please sir, we need your guidance.”

While interacting with the media at Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Mr Sarma said, “Along with the existing capacity, the GMCH and Assam’s Public Works Department had a meeting on whether another 10-15 oxygen plants can be set up to meet any probable crisis.”

Mr Sarma earlier last year was lauded for handling of Assam’s COVID-19 crisis and for keeping the mortality rate in check by constructing several Covid facilities and conducting tests even though the numbers of instances were high.

The Assam minister on Friday, in a four part tweet series with #ModiSavesIndia, cited various measures taken by the Centre to make critical life-saving drugs Remdesivir available to states and claimed that the “lion’s share” of oxygen was given to states where the BJP is not in power.

“It is rather sad, and also intriguing that a false narrative is being pedaled over supply of oxygen / Remdesivir to states. Hon PM Sri @narendramodi has always put India First as his motto and this is reflected in all of GOI’s policies & programs,” he tweeted to counter the narrative that states where the BJP is in power were favoured over others.

“Facts speak for themselves. Let’s not play politics now,” he added.

Speaking about vaccines being available to all above the age of 18 from May 1, Himanta Biswa Sarma said, “Assam had a ready stock of 2.06 lakh vaccines and it has procured another two lakh on Friday and another three lakh will reach by April 28. With these, Assam should be okay.”

“One will have to register with the Centre to get inoculated in the second phase and Centre will allocate the vaccines accordingly for the states to purchase. The initial cost will be covered by the Arogya fund and the excess will be taken from the state budget allocation,” he added.

Mr Sarma further said that Assam has allocated Rs 300 per day per patient for their food and added around 650 beds as Covid cases continue to spike.

Assam had on Saturday recorded 2,236 new cases in 24 hours, taking the state’s active cases to over 14,000.

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