Cong indulging in spit-and-run politics over COVID situation: Union minister Kataria

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Ambala, Apr 29 (PTI) The Congress is indulging in 'spit-and-run' politics instead of giving constructive suggestions and extending support to the government in fighting the coronavirus pandemic, Union Minister Rattan Lal Kataria has said.

The opposition party has been critical of the Centre's response to the second COVID-19 wave that has put huge pressure on the public health system, with hospitals in several states reeling under a shortage of oxygen, beds, medicines and equipment.

The Centre is doing its best to deal with the situation caused by sharp surge in coronavirus cases, the Union minister of state for jal shakti and social justice and empowerment told reporters on Wednesday.

'They (Congress) can put their point, if there are shortcomings. They can point out. But they are in habit of indulging in spit-and-run politics,” he said.

India recorded a single-day rise of 3,79,257 new coronavirus infections, which pushed the total tally of cases to 1,83,76,524, while active cases crossed the 30-lakh mark, according to Union Health Ministry data updated on Thursday.

Kataria, who is the BJP MP from Ambala, said for the past few days, he has been touring his constituency and has held meetings on the COVID-19 situation with senior officials of districts falling in the parliamentary segment.

He assured that there is adequate availability of ventilators, oxygen beds, medical equipment and medicines. Kataria said while there has been a sharp surge in cases in the country, the good thing is that the percentage of recoveries is also high and in comparison to last year, the fatality rate is not that high.

According to the health ministry, active cases in India have increased to 30,84,814 comprising 16.79 per cent of the total infections, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate has further dropped to 82.10 per cent.

The number of people who have recuperated from the disease has surged to 1,50, 86,878, while the national case fatality rate has dropped to 1.11 per cent, it stated.

Describing the present COVID-19 situation a “public health emergency', the Union minister said the Centre is doing its best in the present situation and spelled out various steps the government has taken. Attacking the Congress, Kataria said, “but I have to say with great sadness that the Nehru family, which ruled the country for 55 years,' rather than giving any constructive suggestion or extending support when the country is passing through a difficult time, is only saying Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not do this and he did not do that.

This is the kind of 'poisonous propaganda being spread by them (Congress),” he said “I want to ask them (Congress), I don't want to make any political statement, but when they are abusing us every day, we can also say this much that they too have six to seven chief ministers, what did they do (to deal with COVID situation),” Kataria said. He claimed that there has been a huge surge in COVID-19 cases in Congress-ruled states too and questioned why they failed to tackle the situation. “Those states which are doing good work, they are pointing faults there too,” Kataria said. He said that this is a national calamity, everyone should cooperate. But they won't, Kataria said targeting the Congress. “People of this country have taught them (Congress) a lesson earlier, even now they will. When the poll results will come out on May 2, people will teach them a lesson that they will remember for the rest of their lives,” he said.

Results of assembly polls in West Bengal, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry will be declared on May 2. PTI SUN Cor VSD ANB ANB