COVID-19 surge: As Captain of the ship, Modi should take responsibility for this mess: Tejashwi Yadav

‘The pandemic has spiralled uncontrolled solely due to the apathetic perspective of the Nitish authorities’, says the Chief of Opposition within the Bihar Meeting

Amidst the virulent second wave of pandemic, Chief of Opposition within the Bihar Meeting and RJD chief Tejashwi Yadav speaks to The Hindu concerning the COVID-19 scenario in Bihar, Opposition politics and the return of his father Lalu Prasad.

If we go by the official statistics, the variety of lively COVID-19 circumstances and variety of deaths in Bihar is on the decrease facet as in comparison with many different States. The bottom experiences, together with the latest dying of Bihar Chief Secretary Arun Kumar Singh, point out a unique story. What’s the actuality?

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has notoriously under-reported the numbers, be it the variety of constructive circumstances or deaths. However even when we have been to go by the official statistics, it’s alarming. As an example, in April alone 2.Four lakh new circumstances and 984 deaths have been reported with TPR (take a look at positivity fee) of 16.1%. These are usually not merely numbers. These are 984 valuable lives which have been misplaced as a consequence of lack of correct therapy and medical infrastructure. COVID-19 has now reached rural Bihar too. There are usually not sufficient beds, individuals are struggling to get oxygen. Into the second yr of this pandemic, Bihar remains to be struggling, with step one in pandemic administration — testing. It takes 7-10 days for the experiences to come back. We have now the bottom share of vaccinated individuals within the nation. And all this whereas, the Chief Minister is busy fudging the numbers which could be very unlucky.

Many specialists have mentioned that at present’s scenario is a results of apathy in the direction of medical infrastructure proven by successive governments. Aren’t the Opposition events who’ve been in energy within the earlier years equally to be blamed then?

It is a fallacious argument. In Bihar, the pandemic has spiralled uncontrolled solely due to the apathetic perspective of the Nitish authorities. For a second, even when I have been to agree along with your speculation, Nitish Kumar has been the Chief Minister of Bihar for the final 15 years. Why are the positions of docs, nurses and different paramedics nonetheless vacant? Why don’t now we have sufficient beds? What has this authorities accomplished within the final one yr to enhance its medical infrastructure? How a lot cash from PMCARE is invested in Bihar? Why are ventilators rotting in warehouses? How lengthy will this authorities blame its predecessors for its personal failures?

There was sufficient warning concerning the second wave but the elections went on in 4 States and a UT not too long ago. In October, Bihar additionally had meeting polls, the place we noticed you addressing tightly packed public conferences. In hindsight, do you assume if the Opposition events had taken a united stand these public conferences might have been prevented?

If you happen to would recall, we have been the primary and doubtless the one political get together to write down to the Election Fee asking them to postpone the Bihar polls. We have been mocked by BJP-JD(U) and some sections of the media too. Because it was the decision of the Election Fee to carry elections, we have been left with no alternative however to take part. It’s grossly unfair to query the Opposition for each mishap within the nation. The federal government on the helm also needs to be requested and held accountable. Even now in West Bengal, amidst an unprecedented upsurge of COVID-19 infections, all events besides the BJP requested the EC to membership the remaining 4 phases of election. However the EC didn’t trouble. We have now been lowered to a procedural democracy from being a substantive democracy.

In the previous few days now we have seen an “us vs them” narrative with the State governments blaming the Centre and the Centre blaming them. Who as per you holds the first duty for this mess.

By no means earlier than within the historical past of impartial India have we witnessed such discrimination in opposition to the States by the Union authorities. In a pandemic, the Centre has acquired all of the powers and management over the assets, the States are left begging for oxygen, testing kits, fundamental medicines and vaccines. The Centre is dictating the coverage which the States need to comply with. If he [Narendra Modi] can boast about each little accomplishment, then because the Captain of the ship he also needs to take duty for this mess. However once more in a State like ours, even these restricted assets allotted by the Centre have been poorly distributed and managed. The Nitish authorities has accomplished completely nothing to ramp up medical amenities within the State. This so-called double engine authorities has resulted solely in double hassle for the State and subsequently each ought to take the collective duty for this abject failure.

It has been over 5 months now since Nitish Kumar took over for the fourth time as Chief Minister of Bihar. Rigidity between the ruling facet and Opposition has escalated. Final month, we noticed police coming into the Meeting. How is that this fourth time period completely different from his earlier tenures?

This one is a completely dictatorial authorities. What occurred in Bihar Meeting is exceptional. Lawmakers have been thrashed and kicked round by Patna police for peacefully protesting in opposition to the passage of the draconian particular armed police Invoice within the Meeting. For this, they have been crushed black and blue on the behest of Nitish Kumar. He’s making an attempt to implement the agenda of RSS by altering the Structure which we will vehemently oppose. For any democracy to thrive, the Opposition’s voice needs to be heard and accommodated however Nitish Ji does precisely reverse of it. He’s stifling the contrarian voices.

Your father, Lalu Prasad ji, is out on bail. Will he be returning to Patna and can we count on him to renew political actions.

In the intervening time, he’s present process therapy at AIIMS and recovering at dwelling. His well being is our major concern as he has a number of co-morbidities. His routine checkup of coronary heart is due since lengthy. Contemplating his vulnerability, we’re taking utmost precautions. And positively he shall be returning to Patna as soon as we seek the advice of his docs.

In view of the victory of the TMC and the DMK and Congress’s failure to make any dent within the latest Meeting polls do you assume they will not be the pure leaders of Opposition?

In each these States, the regional events are a formidable power and have dominated for over 3-Four a long time. Nobody would deny the truth that the Congress has a pan-India presence.

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