Even as he trashed the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) claims of successful Covid management by the Arvind Kejriwal government in Delhi, Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Friday expressed shock that the party leaders in Punjab had chosen to put their petty vested political interests even above the security concerns of the state and the welfare of its people.
“On the one hand, they talk of working together to fight the unprecedented crisis, and on the other, they are blatantly and shamelessly ignoring the persistent attempts by Pakistan to foment fresh trouble in our state by spreading false propaganda over the pandemic,” said the Chief Minister.
In a hard-hitting reaction to the press and video statements of some AAP Punjab leaders, the Chief Minister said they seemed more focused on launching a personal attack against him rather than on condemning the Covid disinformation campaign being spread by anti-social elements in the state’s villages. Captain Amarinder said this showed the extent to which AAP was ready to stoop to further their political agenda in the state, where they had completely lost the confidence of the people.
“Not a word from AAP on the fake news videos, which appear to have emanated from Pakistan, to spread fear and disinformation among the people of Punjab on Covid. No reaction to the arrest of an AAP activist for disseminating such a video,” quipped the Chief Minister. This clearly indicates that they do not want the people to become aware of the fabrication, but in fact want to leverage to their political benefit, he said, asking “Does this not amount to playing into the hands of the anti-social anti-Punjab agents operating from across the border?”
Captain Amarinder said Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s announcement on AAP workers going around Punjab villages with Oxymeters “further exposed their desperation to woo the people of our state, where they have no political standing left”. Unlike the Kejriwal government, which had to beg for help from the Centre when the cases peaked in the national capital, Punjab was full prepared to handle the crisis, he said, adding that while 10000 Pulse Oxymeters had already been procured and distributed, a tender had also been placed for another 50000 to further support the frontline health workers, home isolation patients etc.
There was no dearth of equipment in Punjab, said the Chief Minister, adding that it was Delhi which seemed to be perpetually in need of help from others, reminding AAP of how the Union Home and Health Ministers had to personally and directly step in to micro manage the Covid crisis in the national capital.
Nailing the lies of the AAP leaders on the handling of Covid by the Delhi government, Captain Amarinder pointed to the 4500+ deaths in the national capital as against Punjab’s 1690, with deaths per million for the two at 268.6 and 60.9 respectively. The pathetic situation in Delhi is further evident in its case load (6th in the country as against Punjab’s 17th position), and 14151 beds against 21431 in Punjab, Captain Amarinder further pointed out, adding that these figures showed the ill-preparedness of Delhi, which had 2.8 crore population against Punjab’s 3.2 crore.
As far as testing was concerned, from April 10 to September 2, Delhi had increased testing by 154 times and Punjab by 519.1 times, said the Chief Minister, pointing out even there, the national capital was facing criticism over its massive dependence on Rapid Antigen Testing instead of the gold standard RT-PCR.
No wonder Delhi was witnessing another surge even as AAP was busy touting the Delhi model as an example for other states to follow, he remarked.