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Gujarat govt refutes Rahul Gandhi's claim of 300,000 Covid-19 deaths

A Gujarat minister challenged Gandhi to take a similar stand on states where the Congress is in power

Gujarat | Rahul Gandhi | Indian National Congress

Press Trust of India  |  Ahmedabad 

Rahul Gandhi
Photo: ANI

The BJP government in on Wednesday strongly refuted Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's claim that nearly 3 lakh people have died due to so far as against the official tally of around 10,000 and dubbed his remark as an attempt to misguide people and malign the state.

A minister challenged Gandhi to take a similar stand on states where the Congress is in power on its own or in coalition and declare that their official COVID-19 death figures were also fabricated. Responding to Gandhi's charge, education minister and government's spokesperson Jitu Vaghani said there is a difference between people who succumbed to and deaths occurring due to other ailments during the pandemic period. "Rahul Gandhi's allegation that 3 lakh people have lost their lives due to in Gujarat is baseless and unfounded. We condemn such attempts to malign Gujarat. This is being done by the Congress as part of their agenda to incite people and create panic among the masses through falsehood," Vaghani told reporters in Gandhinagar. According to Vaghani, the official death toll of Gujarat is 10,088 (10,092 as on Nov 24), and not 3 lakh as claimed by the former Congress president. In comparison, the minister said in Maharashtra, where the Congress is part of the ruling coalition, the official coronavirus death toll is 1,40,807. In Punjab, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh - all ruled by the Congress - the official death count is 16,553, 8,954 and 13,552, respectively, he said. In the AAP-ruled Delhi, the government's official coronavirus fatality tally is 25,091, Vaghani said. "should answer before the media and declare that official figures of the Congress-ruled states were also fabricated. I condemn Rahul Gandhi's attempt to misguide people as he showed deaths due to other illnesses during the pandemic as deaths due to coronavirus," said Vaghani. He said the matter related to compensation to families of COVID-19 victims is still pending before the Supreme Court. In the government's defence, the minister further said the death certificates for those who died during the pandemic were issued as per the guidelines formulated by the WHO and the Health Department. During the day, Gandhi shared a video in which families, who lost their dear ones due to COVID-19 in Gujarat, alleged that they did not receive timely help from the government. In the 4.31-minute video, released as part of "Congress Nyay campaign", Gandhi said the 'Gujarat model' is much talked about but the families said during the pandemic they neither got a hospital bed nor a ventilator. Gandhi said while the Gujarat government claims that only 10,000-odd patients have died due to COVID-19, the truth is that "three lakh people have died" due to the infection. He claimed Congress workers have gone house-to-house to ascertain the figure put out by him. "The official tally says 10,000 people died due to COVID-19, but the truth is three lakh (succumbed)," he claimed. Gandhi said the Congress wants the government to pay compensation of Rs four lakh each to the families of people who have died due to the infection in the country.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Wed, November 24 2021. 22:58 IST