Delhi BJP demands Kejriwal's apology over 'oxygen mismanagement'

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New Delhi, Jun 26 (PTI) Delhi BJP president Adesh Gupta on Saturday demanded Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's apology for 'oxygen mismanagement' after a Supreme Court-appointed panel's report said the city government 'exaggerated' consumption of the life-saving gas during the second wave of the pandemic.

The BJP has charged the Delhi government with 'criminal negligence' after the report came into the public domain on Friday, while AAP leader and Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia alleged that the 'bogus' report was 'cooked up' at BJP's office.

Citing the report, Gupta alleged that the Delhi government 'asked for four times more supply of oxygen than required which led to short supply of the life-saving gas in other states'.

'He (Kejriwal) came up with the excuse of oxygen shortage only to hide his own mismanagement. If Kejriwal did not apologise for his mistake and for trying to create an atmosphere of panic due to alleged oxygen crisis in the next 24 hours, the BJP would launch a mass movement against him,' the Delhi BJP chief said.

The report of the Supreme Court constituted sub-group to audit oxygen consumption in hospitals in the national capital during the second wave in April-May said the Delhi government 'exaggerated' the consumption of oxygen and made a claim of 1,140 MT, four times higher than the formula for bed capacity requirement of 289 MT.

The panel said the Delhi government had made the claims for allocation of 700 MT oxygen on April 30 of medical grade oxygen using a 'wrong formula'.

However, AIIMS director Randeep Guleria said on Saturday the report, submitted by the Supreme Court-appointed panel headed by him, is an interim one and not the final word.

Two members, B S Bhalla, the Delhi government's principal home secretary, home, and Max Healthcare's Clinical Director Sandeep Budhiraja, questioned the conclusions.

Bhalla gave his objections and comments on the 23-page interim report shared with him on May 30. The report has an annexure of communication sent by Bhalla on May 31 in which he said a reading of the draft interim report makes it 'painfully apparent' that the sub-group, instead of focussing on the task, delineated from the terms of order of the Supreme Court dated May 6.

Seeking to move on from the controversy, Chief Minister Kejriwal has called for everyone to work together to ensure there is no shortage of oxygen in the next Covid wave.

The virus will win if there is a fight among stakeholders, Kejriwal tweeted. PTI MAH NSD NSD

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