Chandigarh, May 31 (PTI) Senior Congress leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda on Monday hit out at Haryana Chief Minister M L Khattar and rejected the charge of indulging in politics during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hooda's comments come after Khattar said the Congress leader's attitude was only to criticise the state government's handling of the Covid situation rather than extending cooperation.
'I thought his letter did not deserve even a reply, I just ignored it. There was a reason for this. He wants to do politics more rather than extend cooperation,' Khattar had said while talking to the media.
Hitting back at Khattar, Hooda said this was not the time to indulge in politics and he had offered to extend full cooperation to the government in fighting the pandemic.
'But as the Leader of Opposition, it is also my responsibility to raise people's problems and convey the same to the government,” Hooda said at a press conference.
The Congress leader said he comes from a family of freedom fighters and never indulges in politics over issues of national interest, natural calamity and pandemics.
'In fact, when the issue of Article 370's abrogation cropped up, I stood in support when Haryana Assembly brought a resolution (welcoming the Centre's decision on Article 370),” he said.
Asserting that vaccination is the biggest protection against the virus, he said the inoculation drive in the state should be speeded up.
Taking a dig at Khattar, he said the chief minister is talking about “rationing of vaccines”.
'Government records say only 30,000 doses were administered yesterday. And in some districts like Hisar, Nuh, Sirsa and Charkhi Dadri, only a few doses were given. At this pace, it will take several months to cover all eligible in the state. So, this process should be speeded up,” he said.
Hooda said he was pained on seeing people in the state running from pillar to post to procure oxygen cylinders, medicines and arranging beds for their relatives because the government had not adequately prepared for the second wave of COVID-19.
'So, when I raise these issues, these are the problems which people have faced which I highlight. Reality is that the chief minister does not have an answer to these,” he said.
'When I say that the government should take a step ahead and talk to farmers who have been sitting for six months to find a solution, I am accused of indulging in politics over farmers' issues. It is easy to put blame on others. Sometimes, they blame me, sometimes the farmers,” he said.
When asked why Khattar has been saying that Hooda is not appealing to farmers to end the stir as pandemic is raging, he said, “I have been repeatedly saying Covid protocol should be maintained. But it has to be the government which has to find a solution to this (agitation).' He also said that it is not fair to blame farmers' stir for the spread of infection in rural areas in the state. PTI SUN VSD SNE