The BJP on Tuesday (June 9) accused the Aam Aadmi Party dispensation of doing politics over the Lt Governer’s decision to overrule its stand that Delhi government hospitals will be reserved only for city residents and asymptomatic people will not be tested.
BJP spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi said health infrastructure in the national capital has only worsened in last over six-years of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s rule, and that his government does not work but indulges in blame game.
“Delhi government has shown its incapacity to govern and uphold law. What it is doing is pure politics,” the New Delhi MP told reporters.
The BJP’s reaction comes when an all-party meet is underway at the LG’s residence to discuss the COVID-19 situation in the city and measures to contain the spread of the dreaded virus.
The meeting will be held after the Delhi Disaster Management Authority’s high-level meet to assess whether coronavirus has entered the community spread stage in the national capital.
“The LG has called a meeting with all political parties at 3 pm on Tuesday to discuss the present situation of COVID-19 in Delhi and measures to contain the spread of the same,” an official said.
Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal on Monday (June 8) overruled two controversial orders of the AAP government on reserving Delhi government-run and private hospitals in the national capital for Delhiites and allowing COVID-19 test of only symptomatic patients.
Talking to reporters at the Aam Aadmi Party’s office, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia alleged that the BJP was playing “dirty politics” in Delhi and “spreading disaster” in the name of disaster management.
“Yesterday, we decided that Delhi government and private hospitals will be reserved only for people of Delhi for COVID-19 treatment. This was very necessary in view of the COVID disaster and it was a well thought decision so that if cases rise, people in Delhi can get treated,” Sisodia told reporters.
He said the chief minister had made the whole plan and the announcement was made after that, but the BJP has “pressured” LG into releasing this order to revoke the decision.
“I want to ask BJP if it is doing politics based on treatment of COVID or you are doing politics in the name of corona. If tomorrow, the beds available in Delhi get filled within two days and a person living in Delhi falls sick then what will happen to them, who will be responsible for them,” the deputy chief minister said.
“In Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, the BJP is involved in corruption of ventilators and you are not able to handle the situation, and when Delhi government is coming out with plans, you are then doing petty politics over it. The BJP should be thinking about the welfare of people and ensure the decision is taken back,” he alleged.
Lekhi noted that the Delhi High Court had quashed a similar order, which said only Delhi domiciles will be treated in Delhi government hospitals, and said the AAP government made a similar decision despite being aware of the verdict.
The Lieutenant Governor has taken the right decision by overruling the Delhi government.
“Delhi government is indulging in charade to hide its incompetence. Lockdown period was supposed to create better infrastructure. The number of primary health centres in city are stagnant at seven while the number of dispensaries has come down. Mohalla clinics started by the AAP government are nothing but farce,” Lekhi said.
“It does not understand quasi structure of states and that they are part of India. Kejriwal himself got treatment in Bangalore,” she noted.
The coronovirus infection is so high in Delhi that people from outside will not come here for treatment, she said, taking a swipe at the AAP government and asserted that it is competing with Maharashtra over high COVID spread.
“Delhi government lied to the people about beds and preparation for COVID-19. Instead of 32,000 beds it claimed to have, it gave in writing that it has only 3,100 beds,” she said.
On Monday, Delhi recorded 1,007 fresh coronavirus cases, taking the COVID-19 tally in the city to over 29,000, while the death toll due to the disease mounted to 874.
Reacting to the overruling of AAP government’s coronavirus-related orders, CM Kejriwal said that the decision has created a major problem for Delhiites.
Taking to Twitter, Kejriwal said providing treatment to people coming from all over the country is a big challenge during the COVID-19 pandemic.
He also said the Delhi government will try to make arrangements to provide treatment to all those coming from outside the national capital.
“May be God wants us to serve the people of the whole country. We will try to provide treatment to all,” he said.
In his order, the lieutenant governor made it clear that the Supreme Court has invariably held in several successive judgments that Right to Health is an integral part of Right to Life under Article 21 of the Constitution.
The LG said all government, private hospitals and nursing homes and clinics in the national capital have to extend medical facilities to all COVID-19 patients without any discrimination of being resident or non-resident of Delhi.
“In exercise of powers conferred under Section 18(3) of the Disaster Management Act, the undersigned in his capacity as the Chairperson of the DDMA, hereby directs all departments and authorities concerned of NCT of Delhi, to ensure that monitoring / treatment is not denied to any patient on the ground of not being a resident of NCT of Delhi,” he said in his order.
(With inputs from agencies)