Both failed: Rahul Gandhi on PM Modi and ventilators bought with PM CARES Fund
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday morning alleging the ventilators provided under the PM CARES Fund were dysfunctional.
“There’s a lot [in] common between PMCares ventilator[s] and the PM himself: too much false PR, don’t do their respective jobs and nowhere in sight when needed,” Gandhi said in a tweet.
Rahul’s tweet follows allegations, mostly by Congress-ruled states, that the ventilators provided under the PM CARES Fund for treatment of Covid-19 patients didn’t work properly. India has been struggling to meet the high demand for ventilators, medical oxygen and ICU beds during the ongoing second wave of Covid-19 that has overwhelmed the health infrastructure resulting in a high rate of deaths.
Last Friday, Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee spokesperson Sachin Sawant accused the Central government of providing faulty ventilators and called for a state-level inquiry into the matter. Several states have red-flagged the ventilators manufactured by AgVa Healthcare and supplied by PM CARES Fund. Earlier last week, Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot complained that the state had received faulty equipment and urged the Union health ministry to launch an investigation into the procurement of defective ventilators using PM CARES Fund.
A similar issue was reported by Punjab’s Baba Farid University of Health Science. The varsity VC alleged that 62 out of 82 ventilators provided under PM CARES Fund were defective. The VC’s response came after an Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA Kultar Singh Sandhwan tweeted pictures of unutilised ventilators lying at Guru Gobind Singh Medical College and Hospital in Faridkot. The hospital staff opined that the ventilators provided by the Centre were not reliable and functioned only for one or two hours after installation.
Meanwhile, the state government also claimed that 130 of the 809 ventilators received from the Centre were not functional, as per a PTI report.
In Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Uttar Pradesh too, several ventilators were malfunctioning or sitting idle due to unavailability of ventilator connectors and skilled manpower.
The centre called these reports “unfounded” and alleged lack of infrastructure at the Guru Gobind Singh Medical College and Hospital was to be blamed instead. In the case of the complaint raised by Maharashtra minister, the home ministry said the ventilators were not purchased under PM CARES Fund as alleged. Additionally, the Prime Minister has called for an immediate audit of the process of installing and operating ventilators while urging that health care workers are trained to handle them.
The Wayanad MP has been relentless in his attacks on the Prime Minister and his government over the handling of the pandemic. On Sunday, he condemned the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government over reports of arrests of people allegedly putting up posters criticising Prime Minister Modi and the government’s handling of the crisis. Last week he alleged that the Prime Minister was silent in the times of crisis and accused him of “going missing”.