PM, Shah ‘afraid of public mood’ in Gujarat due to Covid mismanagement: Rajasthan CM Gehlot

The previous BJP government led by Vijay Rupani was replaced in Gujarat due to its failure to handle the coronavirus pandemic, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said Thursday. “The Covid-19 impact was so horrible that the entire Gujarat government stepped down and was replaced with new ministers recently. This shows Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) and Home Minister (Amit Shah) were afraid of the public mood due to the state government’s mismanagement of the pandemic in Gujarat,” Gehlot told reporters in Surat.

He said the PM and HM have carried out “a big operation” to win the upcoming assembly elections in the state. However, he said the people of Gujarat would never forget the Gujarat government’s performance during the pandemic. “The exact figure of Covid deaths (in Gujarat) has not been declared yet. People died even outside hospitals, in ambulances in Ahmedabad,” he said.

He also backed Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s demand that the families of those who died, especially from a poor background, due to COVID-19 be paid a compensation of Rs 4 lakh instead of Rs 50,000 as proposed by the Centre. “In Rajasthan, we have declared Rs 1 lakh to the families of those who died due to Covid. Children orphaned by Covid are given Rs 2,500 per month till they turn 18 years and a lumpsum amount of Rs 5 lakh will be given when he or she turns 18 years. We are also taking care of the lonely elders and widows whose earning member of the family died due to Covid,” he said.

About the discrepancies in the death figures, Gehlot demanded that the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) must carry out a survey to determine the exact figures. “The state government and the Centre should carry out a genuine survey and declare correct death figures. It will be beneficial to tackle the third wave if it comes. Currently, the situation in Europe, Russia and Germany is critical. The WHO (World Health Organisation) has predicted that over five lakh casualties may happen in Europe in the days to come. We should be well prepared in advance to tackle such situations.”

The Rajasthan CM was in Gujarat on the occasion of the first death anniversary of senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel Thursday. He paid respects at Patel’s grave in his ancestral village Piraman in Bharuch. He was accompanied by Gujarat Congress president Amit Chavda and other leaders.

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