India’s federally ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Delhi's Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Thursday engaged in a war of words over recent handling of the deadly COVID emergency in the national capital during the peak of the pandemic.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's BJP today accused the Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government of presenting false numerical data of Covid deaths, of not conducting an oxygen audit, and for not having a proper plan in place for vaccinations in the national capital.
BJP national spokesperson Sambit Patra sought to know from the Delhi government about how many oxygen plants it has set up in the city and the logistics of its vaccination plan.
“During peak of the second wave in two months of April and May, the three Municipal Corporations of Delhi have issued 34,750 deaths certificate while Delhi Government’s death toll is only 9,916 due to Covid,” Patra told the media.
Talking about case fatality rate, Patra said, “Delhi has the highest case fatality rate in the country followed by Punjab at the second place.”
“The case fatality rate is 2.9 percent in Delhi, more than double the national rate of 1.3 percent. What is the reason for so many deaths in the city,” he added.
Later, reacting to BJP’s accusations, Delhi Deputy Chief Manish Sisodia criticised the ruling BJP party for sending Covid-19 jabs to other countries even as India was facing a vaccine shortage, referring to the move as “image management and election management”.
Sisodia was referring to Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah remaining busy holding election rallies during the peak of a deadly pandemic in a bid to win recent State elections in West Bengal and other states, as well as exporting vaccines to other countries for personal image building in those nations.
He told the media: “The people want Covid-19 vaccines, not Kejriwal's criticism. The BJP leaders always criticise Kejriwal when asked about the vaccine. They should let people know why they sent vaccines abroad. Our children were dying here."
Sisodia accused the central government of a "vaccination scam".
The two parties, BJP and AAP, are set for upcoming civic body elections, set to be held next year. Delhi city is being administered by AAP but the city’s civic bodies (all the three Municipal Corporations of Delhi) are governed by the BJP.
Per a Delhi government health bulletin, the city has reported 487 fresh cases, 45 deaths and 1,058 recoveries in the last 24 hours since Wednesday.