Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Thursday claimed that the Vijay Rupani-led government's 'failure' to handle the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic in Gujarat led to its ouster.
The Rupani cabinet resigned in September and was replaced by a new ministry under chief minister Bhupendra Patel. Gehlot was in Gujarat to pay tribute to Ahmed Patel on the Congress veteran's first death anniversary. "The entire Gujarat cabinet resigned recently. It shows that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah are afraid of people's mood, because there was mismanagement in tackling coronavirus here," he told reporters in Surat.
People still remember how coronavirus patients were treated in ambulances in Ahmedabad (for want of space in hospitals), Gehlot added. "This mismanagement during the pandemic led to the resignation of the entire cabinet," he said, adding that the BJP leadership took the decision with an eye on the next year's Assembly polls. "But people can not forget what the BJP government did during the pandemic," Gehlot added.
He also backed Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's demand that the families of those who died due to COVID-19 be paid a compensation of Rs 4 lakh instead of Rs 50,000 as proposed by the Union government. "What Rahul Gandhi is demanding now had been announced by the Centre....But the BJP government withdrew that order announcing a compensation of Rs 4 lakh," he alleged. The government should be large-hearted and this is the time for prime minister Narendra Modi to show "his 56- inch chest," Gehlot said. In Rajasthan, his government has announced a slew of relief measures for the kin of COVID-19 victims and is taking care of their parents as well as widows, he said.
"Is there any value of Rs 50,000 in today's world? That is akin to donation," he added. The Rajasthan chief minister also sought a nation-wide survey to find out the actual number of COVID-19 deaths through the National Sample Survey Office. From Surat, Gehlot traveled to Ahmed Patel's ancestral village Piraman in Bharuch district and paid floral tributes at Patel's grave. He was accompanied by Gujarat Congress president Amit Chavda and other leaders.
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