India lockdown: A tale of two leaders-PM & a CM

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India The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and the State Disaster Response Fund’s (SDRF) Rs 29,000 crore kitty are playing an exemplary role in reaching out to the needy, including helping thousands of migrant workers left stranded by the thoroughly incompetent Arvind Kejriwal government in Delhi. In sharp contrast, the super-efficient Modi government is leaving no stone unturned in ensuring free food, water and shelter to the landless daily wage earners, across the length and breadth of the country.

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The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), is producing 20,000 masks a day, while the Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) force is looking after quarantined people at its Chhawla facility in Delhi, besides helping in the distribution of food, to people in places like Kinnaur in Himachal Pradesh. The central government-owned aerospace and defence company, Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL), will be producing 30,000 ventilators.

Under Indian Railways, 1.25 lakh wagons transporting essential commodities, such as food grains, sugar, salt, coal, petroleum, etc, have been operated in the last 5 days alone. On his iconic, interactive programme, “Mann Ki Baat”, in a sterling show of humility, Prime Minister Narendra Modi apologised to the nation for the hardships faced during the lockdown but reinforced in no uncertain terms that the lockdown is a necessity, to contain the spread of COVID-19.

That 113 fully dedicated testing labs and 47 private labs are working 24/7, with over 35000 tests conducted already, is a glowing reflection of how India’s fight against the Coronavirus pandemic, is gaining momentum. In a nutshell, Modi’s clarion call to fight Coronavurus unitedly has not only brought together various arms of the government but more importantly, evoked extremely positive reactions and generous contributions from every section of the society, towards the Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations (PM-CARES) fund.

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All MPs and  MLAs of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), will donate their one-month remuneration/salary to the central relief fund to support the fight against COVID-19. All MPs of BJP will also release Rs 1 crore from their MPLADS fund to the central relief fund in the fight against COVID-19, said J P. Nadda, the dynamic, national president of the BJP and the man who is working 24/7, to ensure that the party is at the forefront in helping the poorest and most vulnerable sections of the society. BJP is represented by 386 MPs – 303 in Lok Sabha and 83 in the Rajya Sabha. An MP gets Rs 5 crore every year as part of the Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS). BJP is not the largest party in the world for nothing—in the war against Coronavirus, its 1 crore dedicated karyakartas have been feeding 5 crore people daily during the lockdown via authenticated community kitchens, that are linked to booths and “Shakti Kendras”.A “Shakti Kendra”  is a cluster of four to six booths.

It is important to mention here that while the UP government has waived off rent for the current month for migrant labourers in many parts of the state, in view of the ongoing lockdown, the Arvind Kejriwal government in Delhi has been hurtling from one disaster to another. And this, despite announcing a lockdown in Delhi even before the central government did so and, having ample time to prepare for the lockdown related fall-out, if any.

Needless to add, if there is one politician who has once again showcased all that is wrong with his politics, which is bereft of any empathy or sympathy for the underprivileged, it is the wily Arvind Kejriwal. After threatening to cut off the electricity and water connections of migrant daily wage earners from Uttar Pradesh(UP), working in the Delhi National Capital Region (Delhi NCR) and, then packing them off like a bunch of sardines in Anand Vihar bound Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) buses, Kejriwal had the galling audacity to blame the UP administration.

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Kejriwal’s botched up handling of the Chinese Coronavirus in 2019, is a nasty reminder of how he let down the people of Delhi in 2016 when the city was plagued by Dengue and Chikungunya. Despite more than 1000 cases and 4 deaths, in September 2016, at the peak of the Dengue inflicted crisis in Delhi, Kejriwal was confined in the plush Jindal clinic at Bengaluru for a minor throat infection for 10 days. His deputy, Manish Sisodia, was galavanting in Finland to study some obscure education system, Satyender Jain was in Goa, while Labour minister Gopal Rai was in Chhattisgarh and, Environment minister Imran Hussain, was on a Haj pilgrimage. Kejriwal and virtually his entire cabinet was missing in action in 2016. In 2020, they are again not in action, but in the news, for all the wrong reasons.

It is time to realise that as per the spirit of List-2, 7th Schedule, Article 246 of the Constitution, functioning of “public health, sanitation, hospitals and dispensaries” fall under the aegis of the Arvind Kejriwal government. Hence the Chief Minister of Delhi has no room to make any excuses for his absolutely dismal handling of the lockdown, which smacks of administrative harakiri and also, his reportedly strong dislike for Purvanchali migrants.