COVID-19 surge: As Captain of the ship, Modi ought to take accountability for this mess: Tejashwi Yadav

COVID-19 surge: As Captain of the ship, Modi should take responsibility for this mess: Tejashwi Yadav

2021-05-04 11:09:37

‘The pandemic has spiralled uncontrolled solely due to the apathetic perspective of the Nitish authorities’, says the Chief of Opposition within the Bihar Meeting

Amidst the virulent second wave of pandemic, Chief of Opposition within the Bihar Meeting and RJD chief Tejashwi Yadav speaks to The Hindu in regards to the COVID-19 state of affairs in Bihar, Opposition politics and the return of his father Lalu Prasad.

If we go by the official statistics, the variety of lively COVID-19 circumstances and variety of deaths in Bihar is on the decrease facet as in comparison with many different States. The bottom stories, together with the current loss of life of Bihar Chief Secretary Arun Kumar Singh, point out a distinct story. What’s the actuality?

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has notoriously under-reported the numbers, be it the variety of constructive circumstances or deaths. However even when we have been to go by the official statistics, it’s alarming. As an illustration, in April alone 2.4 lakh new circumstances and 984 deaths have been reported with TPR (check positivity price) of 16.1%. These usually are not merely numbers. These are 984 treasured lives which have been misplaced because of lack of correct therapy and medical infrastructure. COVID-19 has now reached rural Bihar too. There usually are not sufficient beds, individuals are struggling to get oxygen. Into the second yr of this pandemic, Bihar remains to be struggling, with step one in pandemic administration — testing. It takes 7-10 days for the stories to come back. Now we have the bottom proportion of vaccinated folks within the nation. And all this whereas, the Chief Minister is busy fudging the numbers which may be very unlucky.

Many consultants have stated that as we speak’s state of affairs is a results of apathy in direction of medical infrastructure proven by successive governments. Aren’t the Opposition events who’ve been in energy within the earlier years equally to be blamed then?

It is a fallacious argument. In Bihar, the pandemic has spiralled uncontrolled solely due to the apathetic perspective of the Nitish authorities. For a second, even when I have been to agree together with your speculation, Nitish Kumar has been the Chief Minister of Bihar for the final 15 years. Why are the positions of medical doctors, nurses and different paramedics nonetheless vacant? Why don’t we’ve sufficient beds? What has this authorities finished within the final one yr to reinforce its medical infrastructure? How a lot cash from PMCARE is invested in Bihar? Why are ventilators rotting in warehouses? How lengthy will this authorities blame its predecessors for its personal failures?

There was sufficient warning in regards to the second wave but the elections went on in 4 States and a UT not too long ago. In October, Bihar additionally had meeting polls, the place we noticed you addressing tightly packed public conferences. In hindsight, do you suppose if the Opposition events had taken a united stand these public conferences might have been averted?

When you would recall, we have been the primary and in all probability the one political occasion to put in writing to the Election Fee asking them to postpone the Bihar polls. We have been mocked by BJP-JD(U) and some sections of the media too. Because it was the decision of the Election Fee to carry elections, we have been left with no alternative however to take part. It’s grossly unfair to query the Opposition for each mishap within the nation. The federal government on the helm must also be requested and held accountable. Even now in West Bengal, amidst an unprecedented upsurge of COVID-19 infections, all events besides the BJP requested the EC to membership the remaining 4 phases of election. However the EC didn’t hassle. Now we have been lowered to a procedural democracy from being a substantive democracy.

In the previous few days we’ve seen an “us vs them” narrative with the State governments blaming the Centre and the Centre blaming them. Who as per you holds the first accountability for this mess.

By no means earlier than within the historical past of impartial India have we witnessed such discrimination in opposition to the States by the Union authorities. In a pandemic, the Centre has received all of the powers and management over the assets, the States are left begging for oxygen, testing kits, primary medicines and vaccines. The Centre is dictating the coverage which the States need to observe. If he [Narendra Modi] can boast about each little accomplishment, then because the Captain of the ship he must also take accountability for this mess. However once more in a State like ours, even these restricted assets allotted by the Centre have been poorly distributed and managed. The Nitish authorities has finished completely nothing to ramp up medical services within the State. This so-called double engine authorities has resulted solely in double bother for the State and subsequently each ought to take the collective accountability for this abject failure.

It has been over 5 months now since Nitish Kumar took over for the fourth time as Chief Minister of Bihar. Rigidity between the ruling facet and Opposition has escalated. Final month, we noticed police coming into the Meeting. How is that this fourth time period totally different from his earlier tenures?

This one is a completely dictatorial authorities. What occurred in Bihar Meeting is exceptional. Lawmakers have been thrashed and kicked round by Patna police for peacefully protesting in opposition to the passage of the draconian particular armed police Invoice within the Meeting. For this, they have been crushed black and blue on the behest of Nitish Kumar. He’s making an attempt to implement the agenda of RSS by altering the Structure which we will vehemently oppose. For any democracy to thrive, the Opposition’s voice must be heard and accommodated however Nitish Ji does precisely reverse of it. He’s stifling the contrarian voices.

Your father, Lalu Prasad ji, is out on bail. Will he be returning to Patna and can we anticipate him to renew political actions.

In the intervening time, he’s present process therapy at AIIMS and recovering at house. His well being is our major concern as he has a number of co-morbidities. His routine checkup of coronary heart is due since lengthy. Contemplating his vulnerability, we’re taking utmost precautions. And undoubtedly he can be returning to Patna as soon as we seek the advice of his medical doctors.

In view of the victory of the TMC and the DMK and Congress’s failure to make any dent within the current Meeting polls do you suppose they will now not be the pure leaders of Opposition?

In each these States, the regional events are a formidable power and have dominated for over 3-4 many years. Nobody would deny the truth that the Congress has a pan-India presence.

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