BJP, Congress demand Kejriwal's resignation over 'inflated' oxygen requirement

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New Delhi, Jun 25 (PTI) The Delhi units of the BJP and the Congress hit out at Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday and demanded his resignation over a Supreme Court-appointed audit panel report that said his government exaggerated its oxygen requirement during the second wave of COVID-19.

Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, however, categorically denied the existence of such a report.

The Delhi BJP accused the chief minister of criminal negligence and demanded that he should resign.

'The deaths of innocent people during corona's second wave due to pretended oxygen shortage shown by the Delhi government are the sole responsibility of Arvind Kejriwal's government and therefore he should resign,' Delhi BJP president Adesh Gupta said.

The kind of criminal negligence that was committed by the Kejriwal government during the pandemic's second wave is simply 'unpardonable', he added.

'The Kejriwal government is responsible for the loss of thousands of lives, and he should be arrested for the same. Not only should he resign but a criminal case should also be filed against him and his ministers,' the BJP leader said.

The Centre supplied more oxygen to Delhi than its actual requirement but due to the mismanagement by the city government, there were instances when some places reported only 48 hours' oxygen left in stock, while somewhere else, it was just for 48 minutes, he claimed.

'This led to a panic situation, causing unavoidable deaths,' Gupta said.

Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee president Anil Chaudhury also targeted the chief minister.

'It is clear from the 'Oxygen Audit Committee report' that due to Kejriwal, the supply of 12 other states in the country was affected. The lack of storage and tankers in Delhi and the fault of some private hospitals led to the oxygen crisis. 'People died because of Kejriwal.' Killer chief minister leave the chair,' he said in a tweet in Hindi.

Former Delhi minister Dr Narendra Nath and ex-MLA Adarsh Shastri said that in light of the 'shocking' findings, 'an FIR should be filed and the Delhi government dismissed for giving out misleading information to create an oxygen scare, and total mismanagement of the pandemic'.

They said even though the Delhi government got four times more oxygen than its actual requirement, patients died due to non-availability of the life saving gas.

Delhi's high demand also deprived other states of the much-needed oxygen supply which could have saved many lives there had they received enough stock of the gas, Nath and Shastri added.

Earlier in the day, Sisodia claimed the members of the Supreme Court-appointed Oxygen Audit Committee have neither signed nor approved any such report and accused the BJP of 'drafting the misleading and bogus report at its headquarters'.

The sub-group constituted by the Supreme Court to audit oxygen consumption in Delhi hospitals during the second wave surge of COVID-19 said that the city government made “exaggerated claims” on April 30 for allocation of 700 MT of medical grade oxygen using a “wrong formula”.

The five-member panel headed by AIIMS director Randeep Guleria said that in its fourth meeting on May 13, it was discussed that the actual oxygen consumption claimed (1,140 MT) was about “four times higher' than the formula for bed capacity requirement of 289 MT. PTI SLB IJT

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