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Medical Oxygen allotted for the State diverted to BJP-ruled-States, alleges Mamata

Abhishek Law Kolkata | Updated on April 23, 2021

If money can be spent on Central Vista, then you can spend on free Covid vaccination too, Says West Bengal CM

West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee, on Friday alleged that medical oxygen allotted for the state was being diverted to BJP-ruled-ones, particularly Uttar Pradesh. 

According to Banerjee, SAIL which was supplying dedicated oxygen to Bengal hospitals has been “reportedly asked” to concentrate on supplies to Uttar Pradesh. 

“This is unacceptable. They want to capture Bengal, but is diverting oxygen from here to other BJP-ruled states, specially Uttar Pradesh. We will not accept this step-motherly treatment,” Banerjee said. 

Also read: Covishield pricing whips up a political storm

“SAIL has been asked to focus on Uttar Pradesh. We have made some arrangements, around 5000 cylinders, for ourselves. More arrangements are being made,” she added when questioned for details. 

On April 21, the Centre allotted 200 MT of oxygen from different plants located in West Bengal to outside the state. 

The state government expects the demand to rise to “roughly 450 MT per day in the next couple of weeks”. 

“The present allocation of liquid oxygen to outside West Bengal will jeopardize the medical treatment of covid patients in the state. Accordingly, the West Bengal government has requested (the Centre) on April 22  to not divert the medical oxygen elsewhere,” media release by the state government said. 

Banerjee also alleged majority of the Covid vaccines had previously been allocated to Gujarat. 

“Our stand remains clear. Free vaccination and  a single price nationally,” she said claiming that Rs 20000 crore would have been required for pan-India free vaccination program and payments for the same can be made through PM Cares Fund. 

“If money can be spent on Central Vista, then you can spend on Covid vaccination too. This second surge is completely because of Centre’s mismanagement,” Banerjee alleged. 

The West Bengal Chief Minister further claimed that “the state government was not alerted when Covid cases were rising” nor were they asked to “ramp up oxygen supplies anticipating shortages”. 

In Asansol, after her Friday rallies got cancelled following a ban by the Election Commission of India, Banerjee said: “If I knew campaigning will be banned today, I could have squeezed in some more rallies yesterday. However, I welcome the campaign ban order.” 

Reiterating that the a Covid surge in the state - approximately 69000 active cases - was due to “outsiders” brought in by BJP, the WB CM claimed at “a few lakh people of a political party” were here and “could be spreading Covid”. 

“May these people should be asked to go back from the state now that campaigning is banned”, she said adding that there were no immediate plans of imposing a lockdown here. 

Minutes after Mamata Banerjee went off air, BJP’s IT cell in-charge, Amit Malviya re-tweeted a statement of the party’s Bengal unit claiming “free vaccines would be available to all in Bengal after BJP came to power here”. 

“As soon as BJP government comes to power in West Bengal, COVID-19 vaccine will be provided free of cost to everyone,” BJP’s Bengal unit had said on the micro-blogging site. 

Published on April 23, 2021

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