Beyond comprehension why Hry govt has not convened all-party meet on Covid issue: Hooda

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Chandigarh, May 26 (PTI) It is beyond comprehension on why the BJP-JJP government has not convened an all-party meet so far on the Covid issue, former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda said on Wednesday, asserting that the ruling dispensation and opposition need to work unitedly to fight the pandemic.

Hooda also said the opposition is giving full support to the state government in the fight against the Covid pandemic and will continue to do so. But it is also the Haryana government’s responsibility to highlight people's problems, he said.

The leader of opposition in the state assembly, while reacting to Chief Minister M L Khattar recent statement that the opposition is unnecessarily blaming the government on the COVID-19 issue, said, “We have given full support to the government and will continue to do so as it tackles the pandemic.” The Congress leader, however, asked “why is the Chief Minister reluctant to call an all-party meeting on the COVID-19 issue”.

He said that the ruling party and the opposition have their own roles in democracy.

“Both sides need to work unitedly in issues of public interest and in periods of crisis like the one we are facing now but in such a situation, it is the responsibility of the chief minister, as the head of the state, to take the support of the opposition,” Hooda said in a statement here.

“All-party meetings have also been convened in other BJP-ruled states to discuss the COVID-19 pandemic, but it is beyond comprehension why the Haryana government has not done this so far. People will benefit if the state government works with the opposition and due attention is given to its suggestions,” he said.

Khattar had recently said that the opposition is unnecessarily blaming the government on the COVID-19 issue, which 'is certainly not an ethical thing to do in this hour of crisis'.

The chief minister had, however, also said the opposition should give its suggestions to the government on how to fight the pandemic.

Hooda said that “the chief minister has all the resources and the entire system works on his instructions and hence, as a responsible opposition, we have always worked to bring the problems of the people to the government's attention”.

“Recently, there was an outcry in the state due to lack of oxygen, ventilators and medicines. We have continuously raised the issue before the government,” he said.

“Not only this, all our MLAs and single MP have helped people as much as possible, despite their limited resources. My party, all the MLAs and MPs are ready to cooperate in the battle against the pandemic. This fight can be won by solidarity and cooperation,” Hooda added.

He also responded to statements by some ruling dispensation leaders accusing him of doing politics on the COVID-19 issue.

Hooda said he is definitely a political person, but he has always done politics based on values.

“I belong to a freedom fighter's family and my ancestors have been imprisoned during the country's freedom struggle. That fight was not of any party or of any class, it was a fight for the whole country. The fight against COVID-19 is a fight for humanity and we have never done politics on issues like epidemics and disasters,” he said.

Hooda said he has continuously tried to “awaken” the government and also tried to raise awareness among the people.

“I have written open letters to the chief minister in which I made suggestions on how to tackle the pandemic,' he said, adding the ruling dispensation should understand that giving positive suggestions to the government is not politics but the responsibility of every citizen. PTI SUN VSD ANB ANB