If I speak up, I face treason charge: Another BJP MLA questions UP govt's handling of pandemic

·2-min read

Sitapur/Lucknow, May 17 (PTI) The BJP’s Sitapur MLA has become the latest to join the list of ruling party lawmakers in Uttar Pradesh who have expressed resentment over COVID-19 management in the state, saying he feared a sedition charge for speaking up.

“What standing do MLAs have? If we speak too much, treason and sedition charges will be slapped on us as well,” Rakesh Rathore told reporters last week, according to a video clip which surfaced Monday.

The MLA was replying to a question about ICU facilities in Sitapur.

Pressed further, he said, 'Do you think any MLA can put forward his point of view?' “Everything is going fine. I will only say that things couldn’t be better,” he said in a sarcastic vein, while replying to another question.

“I am not the government. But I can definitely say that whatever the government is telling you, it should be considered as correct,' he said.

Asked why the district administration is lacking in efforts to control the crisis, the MLA said the government and administration are two sides of the same coin.

Other members of the ruling BJP in Uttar Pradesh too have questioned Yogi Adityanath’s handling of the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

On May 9, Union Labour minister Santosh Gangwar complained to the chief minister about the situation in his Bareilly constituency, saying officials don't take calls and government health centres send back patients for 'referrals' from the district hospital.

In a letter to Adityanath, he also complained about the “big shortage” of empty oxygen cylinders and the high prices of medical equipment in Bareilly.

A day later, BJP MLA from Jasrana in Firozabad Ramgopal Lodhi claimed that his coronavirus positive wife was not admitted to an Agra hospital for over three hours, with officials saying that beds were not available.

The upset MLA posted a video clip with his complaint on social media, causing embarrassment to the government.

Lodhi claimed that his wife was not given medicines and water on time.

'What will happen to a common man when an MLA's wife cannot be given proper care,' he said in the video, alleging that his wife had to lie on the hospital floor.

In April, a 'confidential' letter written by UP Law Minister Brajesh Pathak surfaced on social media. Pathak had lashed out at his state's health authorities, complaining that beds for coronavirus patients were falling short and ambulances took hours to arrive in the state capital.

The minister did not reject the authenticity of the letter, which appeared to challenge the UP government's claim that it is on top of the situation.

'I had written a confidential letter to the government,' he had told PTI, declining to share its contents. PTI COR NAV SMI ASH ASH

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting