One year of AAP vs Modi government over Covid management in Delhi


Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  It was March 1 last year when the first case of Coronavirus was detected in the national capital, throwing the government into a huddle to manage an unknown disease.

There were various occasions when tussles broke out between Delhi’s Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal and Arvind Kejriwal’s government over managing the pandemic.

Controversies like overruling the decision of reservation of beds only for Delhi residents by the AAP government, which was eventually struck down, and separate counting of cases from Nizamuddin Markaz are some of the issues when the two sides locked horns.

Due to the unique nature of the division of power, coordination among the government, L-G and Municipal Corporations was difficult over the past one year. With lockdown implemented on March 25, migrant crisis management was one of the first friction points between the AAP, Centre and the states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. 

While the Delhi government made arrangements for stay and food, most of the workers wanted to go back home for which special trains had to be arranged in accordance with the home states.

Another tussle between the AAP government and BJP-ruled MCD was over the number of deaths. The health department was issuing daily bulletins about the numbers.

The municipal corporations, which manage the crematoriums, started putting out numbers of cremations that exceeded the count released by the health department.

In May, the government even issued show-cause notices to four major hospitals over delay in reporting of corona deaths. In June, the SC came down heavily on the government for the way it was handling the situation.

This was when a turf war between Baijal and Kejriwal was going on. As head of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority, the governor was taking the final call on the government’s response to the pandemic.

The two governments also locked horns over an order by the Centre to make institutional quarantine mandatory at least for five days for all patients, which the government opposed order was withdrawn.

Frequent face-offs

From reserving beds for Delhi coronavirus patients, to bringing clarity on the number of deaths, L-G and AAP government came face-to-face many times in past one year.

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