In this piece I shall discuss why Arvind Kejriwal’s government is trying to shift the agenda from oxygen shortage to vaccines shortage.
Aap had claimed that its government had ordered 1.34 crore vaccines in April. But the truth is it did not place any order. It only wrote letters of intent to the Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech. So, writing a letters of intent is not placing orders.
Therefore, no order was placed for 1.34 crore vaccines as claimed by the Kejriwal government. Then, why is it trying to mislead?
Till May 10, Delhi government received nearly 49 lakh vaccines and has a balance of nearly 7.41 lakh.
Not only this, the Kejriwal government also has not placed tenders to procure vaccines from global sources when the Uttar Pradesh government led by Yogi Adityanath has done so for 4 crore vaccines.
Other chief ministers of Bengal, Rajasthan, Odisha and Maharashtra, also had decided to float global tenders.
Money is surely not an issue for Kejriwal’s government that spends Rs 804 crore on ads.
In 2015-16, the government spent Rs 81.23 crore and Rs 67,25 crore in 2016-17, on ads. In 2017-18, it spent Rs 117.76 crore and Rs 45.54 crore in 2018-2019. And, in 2019-20, the government spent Rs 199.99 crore and Rs 293.16 crore in 2020-21, on ads. So it is purely a question of priorities?
Kejriwal Govt Reduced Infra
Also, Kejriwal government reduced critical health infrastructure like oxygen, ICU beds, normal beds, ventilators by 35-41% between 22 September 2020 and 28 January 2021, instead of ramping up for Covid second wave.
Not only this, Delhi government’s procurement agency ordered no ventilators in 10 months, between 1 April 2020 and 1 April 2021. Neither, it built a single new hospital, between 1 April 2015 and 31 March 2019. Therefore, it has not achieved 30,000 new beds, but claimed that it had ordered for 1.34 crore vaccines.
So why is this vaccine bogey being raised?
After Mumbai Model fame BMC Commissioner Iqbal Chahal lauded Centre on oxygen and exposed state governments, the Kejriwal government feels it will be completely exposed on its oxygen mismanagement. Hence, it opposes oxygen audit.
Courtesy: Shehzad Poonawala Twitter Thread