Chandigarh, Sep 3 (PTI) A day after AAP national convenor Arvind Kejriwal said his party workers will go to Punjab villages to check people's oxygen levels, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Thursday asked him to stay out of the state and focus on managing COVID in his city.
In a video message, Kejriwal on Wednesday had appealed to the people of Punjab to help AAP volunteers in carrying out the campaign.
'In Delhi, we have seen oximeters proving to be helpful. So the AAP is taking oximeters to every street, neighbourhood and village of Punjab. Workers of AAP along with people will go to every house and check the oxygen level of people,' he had said.
'If someone's oxygen level is found to have dropped and (we) will help him in taking him to hospital and this way, (we) will try to save lives of people in villages,' the Delhi chief minister added.
Meanwhile, the Punjab chief minister warned his Delhi counterpart against trying to exploit the COVID crisis to 'instigate' people in the state's villages, which have witnessed a spurt of fake news and provocative videos.
'We don't need your oximeters. We just need you to rein in your workers in Punjab, where they are trying to incite my people into not going to hospitals to get themselves tested and treated for COVID,' he told Kejriwal.
The Punjab CM said at least one such rumour was found to have emanated from abroad, most likely Pakistan, and allegedly propagated here by an active worker of Kejriwal's AAP.
According to a statement issued by the Punjab government, AAP's Amrinder Singh has been arrested and is being questioned to ascertain who motivated him to circulate the post of a body to 'mislead' the people of Punjab into believing that organs of dead coronavirus patients were being removed by the Punjab health department.
'The video/post allegedly propagated by the AAP worker was seen to be exhorting and provoking people not to cooperate with health authorities, thus endangering the health and safety of the residents,' the CM said.
'Such rumours are provoking a section of the community to resist proper medical care which needs to be provided to all COVID- affected citizens, which is a clear case of a deadly criminal conspiracy against the people of the state who are already suffering due to the pandemic,' he said.
There were enough indications of a massive plot by elements inimical to the interests of Punjab, he said.
The Punjab CM said the police on Thursday morning registered another case in Patiala on a complaint by a local journalist, who was offered money for making and circulating a false video on COVID scare.
He said Kejriwal's announcement in the midst of the shocking viral campaign, asking AAP workers to go around villages and streets of Punjab to check people's oxygen levels, raised serious questions on the role of his party in the alleged conspiracy to undermine the Punjab government's efforts to keep the pandemic under check.
The Delhi CM's decision could have grave repercussions for Punjab's security and integrity, Amarinder Singh claimed, asking Kejriwal to not 'play into the hands of anti-India forces from across the border', who are trying to use the Covid-19 pandemic to foment fresh trouble in the state. PTI CHS VSD SNE SNE