Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel, who owes his allegiances to the Congress party has squarely put all blame on the state’s crumbling healthcare infrastructure, loss of lives and oxygen shortage on Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Of course, Baghel has no facts to back his rather obnoxious claims and is simply using his position as a member of Congress to lies about the Modi government’s efforts to combat the Covid-19 pandemic. Chhattisgarh is one of five states contributing to 62 per cent of the total active cases in the country.
According to data from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Chhattisgarh recorded a total of 5,74,299 cases, with 6,274 deaths and 1,35,688 recoveries, as of 20 April. And the state continues to battle the shortage of beds and increasing deaths. Speaking to the Print itself, however, the chief minister of Chhattisgarh blamed the Modi government for not alerting states about the possibility of a second wave of the pandemic. Baghel said the state has been hit hard in the second wave because the Centre didn’t alert states. “During the first wave, we had sealed the borders early so we managed to contain the spread. But as far as the second wave is concerned, the Centre did not issue any alert to the states. They knew about it but they did not issue any alerts.”
To nobody’s surprise, Bhupesh Baghel, in a separate interview to the Indian Express said, “This is the Central government’s mistake. I look at other states to see what is happening… But the Indian government has a bigger vantage point. They look at what is happening globally. So the Indian government should have looked at countries which were hit by the second wave and looked at what are the problems that they are facing, what are the symptoms of the infection, the duration of the treatment….and should have made us aware or advised us.”
Interestingly, Chhattisgarh’s Congress government had shot itself in the foot when it blocked the supply of Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin to the state. In February, Chhattisgarh Health Minister TS Singh Deo had raised concerns over the safety of Covaxin and had written to Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan urging him not to send the state any shipments of Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin till the Phase 3 clinical trial results are completed. Only recently, after a gaping vacuum of two months did the Congress government of the state allow Covaxin to be used for Covid-19 vaccinations.
As such, for Bhupesh Baghel to blame Prime Minister Modi for all that is going wrong with India’s fight against Covid-19 is a bit too rich. He must introspect, and learn from his rather glaring mistakes over the past year.