KOLKATA: BJP national president JP Nadda, taking note of the observations by the Madras high court holding the Election Commission “singularly responsible” for the second wave of Covid, said people in “high and respectable” positions should “weigh words before using them”.
Responding to the observations of the Madras HC and Calcutta HC on the poll panel’s role, Nadda said: “We have been strictly adhering to EC directives on maintaining Covid protocol during our campaign. What the Madras HC has said is an observation. I can only say people in high and respectable positions should weigh words before using them.”
Madras HC Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee came down heavily on the poll panel and held that “EC officers should be probably booked for murder”.
The BJP national president said he didn’t want to join the “blame game” along with Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee over the shortage of vaccines, medicines and oxygen availability when Covid numbers were reaching a new high in Bengal every day.
“We are taking a pro-active role. The Bengal CM gave a miss to the meeting the PM had with CMs on March 17 to discuss the requirement of vaccines and also deliberate before rolling out a comprehensive Covid management plan. A year ago, the state government had kept the central team to Bengal in house arrest. They had come to help out the state in tackling the pandemic,” Nadda said at a presser in the city.
Earlier, at three virtual meetings in Malda, Birbhum’s Labhpur and Jorasanko in Kolkata, the BJP president pointed out how the Narendra Modi government waived customs duty and health cess on import of vaccines, medicines and oxygen-related equipment for the next three months to address the demand.
“The Indian Air Force has been lifting cryogenic oxygen tanks from Singapore and reaching out to states to beef up oxygen supply for Covid patients. Twenty-three mobile oxygen-generating machines have been imported from Germany. PM Modi has also set up a state-of-the-art laboratory in Kolkata to conduct Covid testing,” he said.
Nadda, returning the Bengal CM’s Covid salvo, said at Jorasanko: “Going by the state’s own account, more and more people are being vaccinated every day. Mamata ji is raising a clamour over vaccines. From where are they coming?”