Coronavirus will win if we keep fighting, says Kejriwal after oxygen controversy
Seeking to move on from the controversy over a Supreme Court-appointed panel report on Delhi's oxygen demand, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday called for everyone to work together to ensure there is no shortage of oxygen in the next Covid wave.
The virus will win if there is a fight among stakeholders, Kejriwal tweeted, a day after his Aam Aadmi Party and the BJP hit out at each each other over the report that said Delhi's oxygen needs were exaggerated four times over during the second Covid wave.
"May we work now if your fight over oxygen is finished? Let us together make a system so no one faces shortage of oxygen in third wave," Kejriwal said in his tweet in Hindi.
"There was an acute shortage of oxygen in the second wave. It should not be so in the third wave. Corona will win if we fight with each other. The nation will win if we fight together," he added.
While AAP leaders accused the BJP of "cooking up" the report from the Supreme Court appointed committee, the saffron party charged the Delhi government with "criminal negligence". Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia alleged that the "bogus" and "misleading" report was "cooked up" at BJP's office and submitted by the Centre in the apex court.
The sub-group constituted by the Supreme Court to audit oxygen consumption in hospitals in the national capital during the second wave said the Delhi government "exaggerated" the consumption of oxygen and made a claim of 1,140 MT, four times higher than the formula for bed capacity requirement of 289 MT.
The five-member panel, headed by AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria, said the Delhi government had made the claims for allocation of 700 MT oxygen on April 30 of medical grade oxygen using a "wrong formula".
Two members, B S Bhalla, Delhi government's principal home secretary, home, and Max Healthcare's Clinical Director Sandeep Budhiraja, questioned the conclusions.
Bhalla gave his objections and comments on the 23-page interim report shared with him on May 30. The report has an annexure of communication sent by Bhalla on May 31 in which he said a reading of the draft interim report makes it painfully apparent that the sub-group, instead of focussing on the task, delineated from the terms of order of the Supreme Court dated May 6.
As controversy spiralled on Friday, Kejriwal reacted to developments saying his only "crime" was that he "fought for the breath of two crore people" of Delhi.
"...When you were doing an election rally, I was awake all night arranging for oxygen. I fought, pleaded to get oxygen for people."
"People have lost their loved ones due to lack of oxygen. Don't call them liars, they are feeling so bad," Kejriwal said on Twitter.