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Sambit Patra accuses Kejriwal of inflating oxygen needs for Delhi

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on June 25, 2021

BJP Spokespersons Sambit Patra   -  The Hindu

BJP spokesperson quotes an SC expert panel report; AAP questions veracity of report

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Friday quoted an interim report claimed to have been submitted to the Supreme Court by an expert panel and accused Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal of inflating and exaggerating the oxygen requirement for the capital during the peak of the second surge of Covid-19 pandemic. AAP questioned the authenticity of the report and claimed that the report was “manufactured in the BJP headquarters” and had neither been approved nor signed by the expert panel set up by the Supreme Court.

 

The purported report was released by the BJP’s Delhi State unit and the national spokesperson Sambit Patra was fielded to quote from it, underlining that Arvind Kejriwal and AAP were guilty of “criminal negligence and lies” that cost lives in other States from where oxygen supply had to be diverted to Delhi during Covid-19 second surge.

‘Four times inflated’

“I am quoting from the Interim Report of Oxygen Audit in NCT of Delhi. The Supreme Court is hearing a case on oxygen supply shortage. Delhi Government has consistently maintained that the Centre did not supply adequate quantities of oxygen to the Capital. The SC set up an expert panel to enquire into this. I am sorry to report that the panel report now says that the oxygen requirement cited by the Delhi Government was four times inflated than it was actually required. The saddest part is that because of this, there are 12 States that were adversely affected. States such as UP, Haryana suffered because oxygen had to be diverted to Delhi. This is criminal negligence. They wanted to shift blame and created a false alarm,” said Sambit Patra.

AAP leader and Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia held a separate press conference to assert that there is “absolutely no such report” and what Patra and other senior BJP leaders are quoting from is a “report manufactured in the BJP headquarters”.

“ The report which is being quoted actually does not exist. We have spoken to several members of this Oxygen Audit Committee. They have not approved any report nor have they signed such a report. I challenge them to produce a report which has been approved and signed by the members of the Audit Committee. This matter is sub judice and such conspiracies related to a sub judice matter are an insult to the judicial process,” said Manish Sisodia.

Patra said that the SC panel has used the term “gross discrepancy” for the oxygen requirement presented by the Delhi Government. “On Page 14, there is a scientific tabulation that Kejriwal said oxygen requirement was 1,140 Metric Tonnes (MTs). But when the committee collected data from all Delhi hospitals to find out how much oxygen they actually used, the actual number was 209 MT. They increased the demand four times,” said Patra.

The BJP spokesperson quoted a Petroleum And Oxygen Safety Organisation (PESO) report to say that the “NCT of Delhi had surplus oxygen supply which is affecting the Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO) supply of other States.”

Patra said on May 3, Mumbai and Delhi had similar number of cases – Mumbai had 92,000 cases and Delhi had 95,000 cases. “Then how is it that oxygen requirement for Mumbai was 275 MTs and Delhi required 900 MTs? This is because Kejriwal wanted to shift the blame to the Centre,” Patra alleged.

Patra said the expert panel report mentioned that Kejriwal had claimed the Delhi Government’s calculation is according to ICMR guidelines. “But when the SC Audit Team asked him for ICMR guideline copy, he said there was no such guideline. Kejriwal and their other leader Raghav Chadha raised different demand for oxygen within a single day. This is a conspiracy to cover up their own mismanagement,” said Patra.

Published on June 25, 2021

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