New Delhi, Jun 25 (PTI) Citing a Supreme Court-appointed audit panel's report, the BJP on Friday said the Delhi government 'inflated' its oxygen requirement during the second wave of COVID-19 by four times and accused Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal of 'heinous crime' and 'criminal negligence'.
Several BJP leaders, including Union ministers, attacked Kejriwal with party spokesperson Sambit Patra citing the report to note that the Delhi government had demanded 1,140 MT of the life-saving gas during the peak of the second wave even though it could utilise only 209 MT.
The requirement was 351 MT even if the panel went by the Delhi government's formula while it was 289 MT according to the central government's estimate, he said, adding that only 209 MT was expended while Kejriwal projected an requirement of 1,140 MT.
'Imagine the amount of criminality. This is a heinous crime by Arvind Kejriwal. This is criminal negligence as the panel says he sought four times more oxygen than required. The report has exposed the politics he did to shift blame from his incompetence and failure to deal with COVID-19,' Patra claimed.
Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, however, accused the BJP of lying about the existence of such a report.
'There is no such report. We have spoken to the members of the Oxygen Audit Committee formed by the Supreme Court. They said they have not signed or approved any such report.
Patra shared copies of some of the relevant portions of the report to reject Sisodia's claim.
In his press conference, Patra noted that many lives were lost in Delhi due to lack of oxygen and expressed hope that Kejriwal will be held accountable and punished by the Supreme Court.
Due to Kejriwal's lies, he alleged, 12 states were affected as oxygen supply was diverted from them to meet the needs of the national capital.
Patra said many lives could have been saved if the Delhi government had not inflated its needs, and states like Uttar Pradesh and Haryana had to suffer.
'You were proving incompetent and a failure. You had to shift blame and for that you pressed false alarm and spread panic across the country,' he said, attacking the Delhi chief minister for targeting the Modi government then for shortage in oxygen supply and meting out 'step-motherly' treatment to Delhi.
Patra said Mumbai and Delhi had 92,000 and 95,000 Covid cases respectively on May 3, and while the western city required 275 MT of oxygen, Delhi sought 900 MT.
The Delhi chief minister works with the formula of '100 per cent advertisement and zero per cent Covid management', and spent over Rs 1,000 crore on advertisement, he said, alleging that Kejriwal has been doing similar politics on vaccination and ration programmes in the capital.
Union minister Prakash Javadekar said other states suffered due to the demand raised by the Delhi government, and said sarcastically that others can learn from it as to how to make noise.
BJP general secretary (organisation) B L Santhosh wondered if Kejriwal and Sisodia would apologise to the nation for their 'criminal' act and slammed them as 'shameless people'.
He also hit out at the Delhi chief minister for his claim that his only 'crime' was that he 'fought for the breath of two crore people'.
Santosh alleged, 'When caught red-handed the leader tries to shift goal post. You & your party owes nation an answer fir misleading public , judiciary & above all denying oxygen to the needy.' BJP's chief spokesperson Anil Baluni accused Kejriwal of creating panic in many states for publicity, and said his 'crime was unpardonable'.
'If you had really worked on ground instead of claiming false credit, then people of Delhi would not have suffered and nor had they lost their lives due to the shortage of oxygen,' Baluni said. PTI KR SMN SMN