New Delhi: Congress MP Rahul Gandhi on Monday attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi while comparing him to ventilators bought by the PM CARES fund. He said that both had “too much false PR”, did not do their respective jobs, and were not in sight when needed.
Rahul’s tweet of allegation came amid a row over reports suggesting that ventilators bought with PM CARES funds for the treatment of Covid patients supplied to a hospital in Faridkot (Punjab) didn’t work properly. Due to the technical glitches, they have been left unused.
A similar issue was reported by the varsity VC of Punjab’s Baba Farid University of Health Science, claiming that 62 out of 82 ventilators provided to them were defective. The center, in response, hit back at these reports, calling them ‘unfounded’ and pointed out that it is the lack of infrastructure at the Guru Gobind Singh Medical College and Hospital that is to blame.
Earlier, last week, Maharashtra’s Congress Committee spokesperson Sachin Sawant had accused PM Modi’s government of providing faulty ventilators and also called out for a state-level inquiry into the matter. Similarly, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot complained about the faulty equipment provided to the state and urged the Union Health Ministry to investigate the same. In Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh too, several cases of malfunctioned ventilators sitting idle due to unavailability of ventilator connectors or skilled manpower were reported.
The Home Ministry, in case of the complaint raised by the Maharashtra minister, said that the ventilators were not purchased under the PM CARES fund as alleged. The ventilators in question, as it said were supplied by Bharat Electronics Limited and AgVa.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, after facing fierce and widespread criticism in the case of default equipment has ordered an immediate audit of the process of installing and operating the ventilators, and also directed healthcare workers to be trained in its use, if necessary.
However, since the PM’s Office has made it clear that PM CARES does not come under CAG purview, it is unclear if the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) will conduct the audit.
Rahul Gandhi has been relentless in his attacks over the pandemic management issue by PM and his government.
On Sunday he condemned the center over reports of people being arrested in Delhi for allegedly putting up posters critical of the center’s handling of the crisis.
Last week he accused the Prime Minister of being silent in times of crises and “going missing”.
Meanwhile, India has been reporting over three lakh infections a day for over 20 consecutive days in April-May. Hopefully, today was the first time since April 21 that daily numbers were below the usual mark. In the last 24 hours, 2.81 lakh fresh new cases and 4000 deaths were reported.
The flood of covid cases has left hospitals full, and medicines and oxygen in short supply. The default ventilators have made things worse. Adding to this, the scarcity of enough vaccines is another issue as the country looks to vaccinate people as quickly as possible.