New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal offered the centre an peace offering on Saturday afternoon – each day after the ruling Aam Aadmi Party and therefore the government clashed over claims the capital had “exaggerated” medical oxygen needs during the height of the second Covid wave.
Mr Kejriwal – whose administration fought an extended battle with the centre over supply of medical oxygen to the town in April and should – called on the govt to “come together to make sure nobody will lack oxygen within the third wave”, and threw during a sarcastic swipe permanently measure.
“If your fight over oxygen is over… let’s do some work? Let’s close to form a system that ensures nobody will lack oxygen within the third wave. within the second, people suffered a severe shortage of oxygen… this could not happen within the third wave,” the Chief Minister said in Hindi.
ऑक्सिजन पर आपका झगड़ा खतम हो गया हो तो थोड़ा काम कर लें?
आइए मिलकर ऐसी व्यवस्था बनाते हैं कि तीसरी वेव में किसी को ऑक्सिजन की कमी ना हो। दूसरी लहर में लोगों को ऑक्सिजन की भीषण कमी हुई।अब तीसरी लहर में ऐसा ना हो।
आपस में लड़ेंगे तो करोना जीत जाएगा। मिलकर लड़ेंगे तो देश जीतेगा
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) June 26, 2021
“If we fight amongst ourselves coronavirus will win. If we fight together, India will win,” he said.
This morning AIIMS chief Dr Randeep Guleria – who led the audit team – , when asked about Delhi “exaggerating” oxygen needs, said: “I don’t think we could say that”.
On Friday a huge political row erupted after the contents of what central government sources said was the interim report of a Supreme Court-appointed audit team were revealed to the media.
Based on that report, the BJP that’s in power at the centre said Delhi had used an incorrect formula to calculate its medical oxygen needs and made exaggerated claims in court on April 30.
The Delhi government had said it needed around 700 metric tonnes of oxygen per day; the supreme court and therefore the Supreme Court decreased hard on the centre for not supplying the specified amount.
A furious AAP hit back almost immediately; Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said the Delhi government had spoken to members of the audit team, who said they hadn’t approved a report.
“This may be a mischievous act perpetrated by the BJP… an absolute lie. Shame on the BJP,” Mr Sisodia raged, asking, “Where those people (who were) begging and crying for oxygen lying?”
Mr Kejriwal also spoke up, particularly as several Union Ministers tweeted in apparent unison, including minister of finance Nirmala Sitharaman and Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar.
“My crime is I fought for the lives of Delhi’s two crore people,” he said.
“When you were addressing election rallies, i used to be awake all night arranging for oxygen. I fought and pleaded…” he added – a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s election rallies in Bengal because the second Covid wave was wreaking havoc within the country.
मेरा गुनाह-मैं अपने 2 करोड़ लोगों की साँसों के लिए लड़ा
जब आप चुनावी रैली कर रहे थे, मैं रात भर जग कर Oxygen का इंतज़ाम कर रहा था। लोगों को ऑक्सिजन दिलाने के लिए मैं लड़ा, गिड़गिड़ाया
लोगों ने ऑक्सिजन की कमी से अपनों को खोया है। उन्हें झूठा मत कहिए, उन्हें बहुत बुरा लग रहा है
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) June 25, 2021
As the controversy rumbled on through Friday, the Delhi government also said its calculations were compliant with ICMR (Indian Council for Medical Research, the central government’s nodal body during this crisis) guidelines and projected oxygen needs were “based on active cases… around 1 lakh”.
It also said the centre’s assumption – that only 50 per cent of non-ICU beds use oxygen – was “not correct” within the context of a respiratory illness like COVID-19.