In the backdrop of the controversy over the Centre’s reply in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday that no death had occurred on account of oxygen shortage in the country, the BJP on Wednesday sought to defend the Government’s conclusion saying “no State sent any data about patients dying due to oxygen shortage.”
BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra accused Opposition leaders, including Congress scion Rahul Gandhi and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, of doing politics on the matter, and said the States where these parties are in power have claimed that no one died there due to lack of oxygen.
The BJP leader said Opposition-ruled States claimed in courts that there was no death due to shortage of oxygen during the second Covid-19 wave and made similar assertions in their response to the Centre.
A day before the Union Health Minister had told Rajya Sabha that no deaths due to lack of oxygen were specifically reported by States and UTs during the second Covid wave, drawing sharp criticism from Opposition leaders.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had then himself reviewed the progress regarding import of oxygen and installation of oxygen plants across the country.
Addressing a Press conference, Patra sought to pass on the burden of argument to the States saying that the Central Government’s reply was based on the figures provided by States and UTs as health is a State subject.
No State sent any data about patients dying due to oxygen shortage, he asserted. The BJP spokesperson did not say whether the Centre too has an independent view on people having died on account of oxygen shortage in the second-wave of the pandemic.
With the AAP also targeting the Modi Government over its reply in the Rajya Sabha, Patra noted that a Delhi Government committee had told the High Court that there was no evidence to suggest that around 21 people had died due to a shortage of oxygen in the Jaipur Golden Hospital on April 23-24 night after the hospital management reported the matter.
The Maharashtra Government also told the Bombay High Court that no one died due to the oxygen shortage and Chhattisgarh Health Minister TS Singh Deo has also made similar claims, the BJP spokesperson said.