The burgeoning second wave of the coronavirus pandemic is wreaking havoc across the country and the capital city of Delhi is faring no better — largely thanks to the inept and inefficient handling of the situation by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. The AAP government, for its petty politics, has single-handedly ensured that citizens continue to face grave oxygen crisis as beds, ventilators and medicines remain out of the reach of the public.
Spending 150 crores on advertisements but building only one oxygen plant
Reported previously by TFI, an RTI shared by Alok Bhatt, a Twitter user, revealed that the AAP government had spent Rs 32.52 crore on advertisements in January 2021, Rs 25.33 crore in February 2021, and Rs 92.48 crore in March 2021.
So money spent by @ArvindKejriwal during first 3 months of 2021 on bribing Indian media via ads
Jan: 32.52 cr
Feb: 25.33 cr
Mar: 92.48 cr
— Alok Bhatt (@alok_bhatt) April 24, 2021
It is imperative to note that the central government had allocated targeted funds from the ‘PM CARES fund’ to the Delhi government to build 8 oxygen plants but all AAP could manage was to build one solitary plant. After being summoned by the High Court, the Kejriwal government could not muster a response and stood there with its pants down.
The High Court said, “Set your house in order. If you cannot manage it, we will ask the central government to take over.” In a worrying observation, the Court observed that the government authorities appeared completely unaware about the ground realities and are just issuing ‘unreasonable orders’
And it is not only that Kejriwal has failed in building the oxygen plant infrastructure — reported previously by TFI, RTI pleas filed by one Tejpal Singh revealed that contrary to the tall claims made by the AAP government, no hospital had been commissioned, nor had any flyovers been constructed in Delhi between the years 2015 to 2019.
AAP MLAs hoarding oxygen cylinders
While the Kejriwal government could not set up a single oxygen plant on its own, its party leaders have been allegedly hoarding the cylinders while ordinary Delhites run from pillar to post, scouting for one.
The Delhi High Court on Friday issued a notice to AAP MLA and Delhi Cabinet Minister Imran Hussain and directed him to remain present in the hearing on Monday after a lawyer, in an application, alleged that Hussain had been hoarding oxygen cylinders and making “arbitrary distribution” of them.
Meanwhile, alleged links have emerged between Navneet Kalra, who was apprehended yesterday by the Delhi police for hoarding hundreds of oxygen concentrators.
Reportedly, Kalra imported the oxygen concentrators from China at around Rs 20,000-25,000, and sold them in Delhi for at least Rs 70,000, making a huge profit due to the higher demands for the machines in the city due to the shortage of oxygen for Covid-19 patients. Kalra had sold nearly 50 such units so far.
It is important to note that Kalra was one of the 50 guests felicitated by the AAP government on Arvind Kejriwal’s oath swearing ceremony.
AAP opposes the centre’s request for oxygen audit and the supply normalises immediately, coincidence?
As reported yesterday by TFI, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, on behalf of the centre, requested the Supreme Court to allow it to conduct a detailed audit on the oxygen usage in the national capital. Quoting experts who believed that Delhi could manage 500-600 MT oxygen, Mr Mehta argued that a thorough audit was needed to be conducted to gauge the real demand. Moreover, the fact that Delhi was using more oxygen than Mumbai also arose suspicion as to where the extra oxygen was being diverted.
However, the Kejriwal government, looking defensive, immediately objected to the audit and said that the Supreme Court should rather order an audit to look into the centre’s arbitrary allocation of oxygen and mismanagement of transportation to Delhi and other states.
If the Delhi government is asking for an increment of 200 MT in oxygen supply then the centre rightfully has the claim to know where the current stock is being utilised. The netizens were quick to note that after the centre’s request for an audit, the Kejriwal government suddenly announced it had no dearth of oxygen supply or beds.
Kejriwal has gone from – ‘There is massive 02 shortage in Delhi’ to ‘there is NO shortage in Delhi in 24 hours’. Kejriwal has also gone from ‘we have no vaccines’ To ‘we will vaccinate entire city in 3 months in 24 hours’. Never known a more despicable politician.
— Sunanda Vashisht (@sunandavashisht) May 7, 2021
Journalists removed from WhatsApp group for questioning Kejriwal
After Hindustan Times published a report, chronicling the AAP government’s poor supply chain management, its flawed distribution plans, the lack of a single helpline number, and failure to build oxygen plants — seven of its journalists were removed from the WhatsApp group meant for sharing press notes, including a daily health bulletin. Clearly, the AAP government is going after reporters and journalists who are exposing its failure.
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There are several other instances that prove that Kejriwal floundered big time when it mattered the most. He kept on making it a contest between him and centre as the Delhites continued to suffer. If only, the state CM had focused on the well-being of its populace, the situation would not have turned this grim.