Delhi Govt's Decision on Sealing of Borders amid Lockdown Holds Weight: Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar

The Haryana government which had allowed free movement of people from Delhi after the fourth phase of the coronavirus lockdown appeared on Tuesday to be having second thoughts, after the national capital ordered sealing of its own borders.

Responding to mediapersons on the issue, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said the decision holds weight as strictness was needed on the Delhi-Haryana border.

The Ministry of Home Affairs has given guidelines that all inter-state borders should be opened. We also took a decision to open these. But later Delhi said the borders should not be opened for now," Khattar, who was addressing a virtual press conference, said.

"Our borders were already closed but when the Delhi government said these should not be opened, we felt what they are saying holds weight. Strictness should be there for now along the Delhi-Haryana border, he added.

The CM said they will talk to the Delhi government as a consensus should be there on inter-state issues.

"The MHA has said these borders should be opened but if the states want to make some provisions at their end, they can do so, he said.

With other states, our borders are open. There is no difficulty, the CM said.

The Haryana government on Sunday had issued fresh guidelines for the next phase of the coronavirus lockdown, opening its borders with Delhi and other states.

Earlier, the state had sealed its borders with Delhi, citing a rise in the number of infection cases in districts adjoining the national capital.

On Monday, the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP government ordered the sealing of the Delhi borders for a week in the wake of rising coronavirus cases.

Meanwhile, Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij took a dig at Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, saying he does opposite of what the Centre says.

When the MHA imposed restrictions on the borders, they kept these open and when they said these should be opened, they closed these. Kejriwal's agenda is political, he said, adding that his lifted restrictions after the Centre allowed the inter-state movement of people.

Asked to comment on a sharp rise in coronavirus cases in Haryana, Khattar said his state is comparatively in better position and added that a majority of cases were reported in the past 10 days.

About the fatalities, Khattar said of the 21 people who died, a majority had serious ailments.

Khattar sought to assure that state has adequate number of hospitals, beds, doctors and equipment to handle the situation.