Wants govt to explain failure of Mission Fateh and spike in COVID cases as well as one of highest fatality rates
Chandigarh, August 26, 2020: The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) – Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislative wings have moved a motion calling for an urgent discussion on spike in COVID-19 cases as well as huge number of deaths due to mishandling of the pandemic fight back by the Congress government in the forthcoming Vidhan Sabha session.
Disclosing this here today, SAD legislative wing leader Sharanjit Singh Dhillon said the motion had been moved because the Mission Fateh initiative undertaken by the Congress government to tackle COVID was an abysmal failure. He said since chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh seemed helpless and had himself admitted that COVID cases would increase to one lakh by next month, there was an urgent need for an effective strategy to tackle the pandemic since people could not be left to die due to the negligence of the Congress government.
In the motion submitted to the Vidhan Sabha secretariat under rule 77 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the assembly, the SAD-BJP legislators submitted that besides framing a new strategy to combat the pandemic, the government must explain why Mission Fateh failed so spectacularly and why instead of ensuring any improvement, the State government has presided over the worsening in the COVID situation in the State. It said Punjab presently had one of the highest fatality rates of 2.5 per cent against the national average of 1.6 per cent. It said the State was slipping on testing instead of revving up and had even failed to start plasma treatment successfully.
The legislators said this situation had arisen because the Congress government had concentrated on hype by spending crores on advertisements instead of taking needed steps at the ground level. They said adequate infrastructure had not been created in government hospitals due to which patients were going to private hospitals for treatment. They also disclosed that the government had failed to regulate the functioning of private hospitals with cases of blatant overcharging by many hospitals coming to the fore.
The motion said the Congress government’s efforts to tackle COVID by shutting down all businesses during weekends had also spelt disaster for lakhs of shopkeepers, tradesmen and skilled workers. It said this had has resulted in overcrowding in markets on subsequent days which defeated the purpose of the shutdown. It said Punjabis were demanding that if the government had to take such draconian steps it should offer a financial package to those affected by them. The motion said even the Union government had made it clear that the State government had acted unilaterally by ordering a weekend lockdown which caused more hindrance than any safety against COVID.
The legislators said the Congress government was also acting callously with front line workers including doctors and health workers who were not getting paid timely salaries for which the State had even been ticked off by the Supreme Court. It said the State government was even playing a hoax on the people by claiming it had spent Rs 300 crore to fight COVID even though it had not exhausted the disaster relief fund or even the CM Relief fund.