L-G’s order will pose a new challenge for people of Delhi, says Kejriwal

After Delhi L-G Anil Baijal overruled Arvind Kejriwal’s order on Covid-19, the chief minister said,“probably it is God’s will that we serve the people of the entire country. We will try to provide treatment for all.”
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal at a press conference over Covid-19 situation in New Delhi on Saturday.(ANI File Photo)
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal at a press conference over Covid-19 situation in New Delhi on Saturday.(ANI File Photo)
Updated on Jun 09, 2020 05:05 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByAbhishek Dey

Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which leads the ruling coalition at the Centre, of pressuring the L-G into overturning the Delhi government’s decision. He questioned if the BJP would take responsibility for the loss of lives of Delhi residents for non-availability of hospital beds.

The BJP hit back, calling the Delhi government’s decision insensitive.

Kejriwal said in a tweet on Monday: ““The L-G’s order has created a very big problem and challenge for the people of Delhi. Providing treatment for people coming from all over the country during the coronavirus epidemic is a big challenge. Probably it is God’s will that we serve the people of the entire country. We will try to provide treatment for all.”

The L-G office did not comment.

On Sunday, the Delhi government had ordered that beds in hospitals under it and private hospitals – barring those that conduct specialised surgeries in the fields of organ transplant, oncology and neurology – should be reserved for people of Delhi, even as it opened the city’s borders with neighbouring states. Hospitals under the central government were open for all.

As proof of residence, the government had prepared a list of documents, including passport, Aadhaar card, voters’ card, drivers’ licence, electricity, gas and water bills, bank passbook, post office current account, among few others with a valid Delhi address.

But on Monday, the L-G overturned the Delhi government’s decision, saying the government’s order did not conform with the “right to health”, which is an “integral part of Right to Life” under Article 21 of the Constitution.

In a press briefing held hours after the L-G’s order, Sisodia said: “The BJP in the central government should rather coordinate with states rather than creating obstructions and not indulge in politics over the coronavirus pandemic. Delhi government had drafted a well-planned strategy regarding hospital beds. But the BJP pressured the L-G into overturning the government’s order. What if all beds in Delhi get occupied within 2-3 days by patients from other states and that leads to the death of a Delhi resident who fails to avail a hospital bed, who will take the responsibility?”

“States ruled by BJP have failed in Covid management. In states such as Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, scams over PPE are being reported. But still, they are hell-bent on politicising the issue. I demand that the central government rolls back the decision (referring to L-G’s order) and invest time and efforts in the management of the pandemic instead of politics. State governments followed the central lockdown. Now, when states take a call on healthcare infrastructure management, the central government should respect that and cooperate,” Sisodia said.

In response to Sisodia’s allegations, Delhi BJP chief Adesh Gupta said, “The government’s decision was insensitive. The L-G has done the right thing by overruling it. In this hour of crisis, AAP should refrain from indulging in politics and focus on improving facilities for people. Their decision to stop testing of asymptomatic contacts of Covid-19 positive patients was against ICMR and Centre’s guidelines. As for treatment, we shouldn’t deny treatment to anyone.”

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