‘Covid-19 lockdown was delayed because...’: Kamal Nath jabs Centre

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByHT Correspondent
Apr 12, 2020 02:22 PM IST

He said that testing for Covid-19 is being done in cities, and not villages where migration has happened since the announcement of 21-day lockdown.

Former Madhya Pradesh chief minister and senior Congress leader Kamal Nath on Sunday alleged that Bharatiya Janata Party-led central government delayed imposition of lockdown over Covid-19 to ensure their government is formed in the state.

Congress leader Kamal Nath announces his decision to resign as Madhya Pradesh chief minister on March 20.(AP Photo)
Congress leader Kamal Nath announces his decision to resign as Madhya Pradesh chief minister on March 20.(AP Photo)

Nath was addressing a press conference through video-conferencing.

“I resigned on March 20, but lockdown was announced after Shivraj Singh Chouhan took oath as chief minister on March 23,” said Nath. “Rahul Gandhi had said in February itself that the coronavirus pandemic will turn into a big problem but nothing was done then.”

“Various state Assemblies were adjourned over Covid-19 fears, but Parliament kept running to ensure our government is gone. It was obvious,” Nath said.

He also said that as chief minister, he had taken some decisions to check the spread of the disease. “We ordered closure of shopping malls, schools etc on March 8. There was no lockdown, but we took measures looking at the gravity of the situation,” Nath said.

“When the Speaker announced that he is adjourning the House over Covid-19 fears, he was mocked. Look what happened afterwards. The entire country was put under lockdown,” said the Congress leader.

He said that all the testing is being done in cities and urban centres, and not in villages. “Madhya Pradesh borders five states, and 25-30 per cent of the state’s population has come back and is living in villages. They are not being tested, what about these people? It is a threat,” said Nath.

Nath resigned from his post on March 20, hours before proving his majority on the floor of Madhya Pradesh Assembly, as ordered by the Supreme Court. He was heading a minority government after having failed in his attempts to woo back 23 rebel Congress MLAs, including six ministers, who had resigned owing allegiance to BJP leader and former Union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia.

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