‘Help Delhi Prevent a Tragedy’: Kejriwal to PM Modi in Live Meet

In an interaction that was live on TV, the CM highlighted the crippling oxygen crisis in hospitals in the capital.

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File image of Arvind Kejriwal.

“I ask you with folded hands to help the people of Delhi to help the state with its much needed oxygen shortage requirements to prevent it from a catastrophe,” said Delhi Chief Minster Arvind Kejriwal in a meeting held by PM Narendra Modi with 10 states worst-hit by COVID-19 on Friday, 23 April.

In an interaction that was live on TV, CM Kejriwal highlighted the crippling oxygen crisis in hospitals in the capital.

“There’s a huge shortage of oxygen in Delhi. Will people of Delhi not get oxygen if there is no oxygen-producing plant here? Please suggest whom should I speak to in the central government when an oxygen tanker destined for Delhi is stopped in another state.”
Arvind Kejriwal, Delhi Chief Minister

Kejriwal urged PM Modi to facilitate the airlifting of oxygen from West Bengal and Odisha to resolve the shortage in Delhi hospitals.

“Oxygen supply scheduled to come to Delhi from Odisha, West Bengal is being airlifted or brought through Oxygen express. PM Sir, please, do make a phone call to the Chief Minister of the state where maximum trucks (tankers carrying oxygen) are being stopped so oxygen can reach Delhi,” he said.

Kejriwal further said that people were in major pain due to oxygen shortage, adding that a big tragedy could occur due to the lack of oxygen. A national plan is needed to deal with the situation, he added, according to PTI.

“The Centre should take over all oxygen plants through the Army and every truck should be accompanied by an Army escort vehicle,” he reportedly said.

During the meeting, Kejriwal also reportedly brought up the issue of differential rates for the COVID-19 vaccine for the state governments and the Centre.

‘Breach of Protocol’: Modi Chides Kejriwal

Prime Minister Narendra Modi during Kejriwal’s live plea stated that it is against protocol for an in-house meeting to be live telecast.

“This is not proper and the protocol should always be adhered to,” said Modi to Kejriwal during the meeting.

However, the Delhi CMO has defended the action stating that there have been no instructions given in the past that the meeting cannot be shared live.

“Today, the CM address was shared live because there has never been any instruction, written or verbal, from central government that the said interaction could not be shared live,” reported ANI, quoting the Delhi CMO

“There have been multiple occasions of similar interactions where matters of public importance which had no confidential information were shared live. However, if any inconvenience was caused we highly regret that,” Delhi CMO added.

(With inputs from PTI.)

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