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COVID-19 surge | Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren’s remark on PM Modi triggers political row

Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren’s attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi late on Thursday triggered a huge political controversy, with Opposition parties terming it a spontaneous outburst, while the BJP described it as a political stunt.

Aaj adaraniya pradhanmantriji ne phone kiya. Unhane sirf maan ki baat ki. Behatar hota yadi woh kaam ki baat karte aur kaam ki baat sunte. [Today, the respected Prime Minister telephoned. He only spoke his mind. It would have been better if he had talked and listened about work],” Mr. Soren said on Twitter.

Jharkhand’s frontal attack comes at a time when Mr. Modi is facing growing criticism for his alleged failure to manage COVID-19 crisis.

Sources close to Mr. Soren said the Chief Minister reflected what the general public thought about the deteriorating COVID-19 pandemic and the government’s failure to protect lives.

However, according to political observers, Mr. Soren was upset over the continued neglect of Jharkhand. At the onset of the second wave of pandemic, Mr. Soren requested Mr. Modi for availing of the services of doctors and paramedics of the Central paramilitary force deployed in Jharkhand. However, the professionals were yet to be made available to the Jharkhand government.

 

In vaccine distribution also, the mineral-rich State claimed it was being treated unfairly. A senior Jharkhand government officer said when vaccination picked up pace in the wake of the worsening pandemic situation, the government was kept in the dark about when stocks would land in the State. As per the latest status report on vaccine distribution in the country, there was no word on supply of doses for Jharkhand.

A big controversy erupted when the Centre delayed giving the go-ahead to Jharkhand’s request for importing Remdesivir from Bangladesh. Jharkhand Mukti Morcha also raised the issue of low allocation of Tocilizumab to the State, which was allotted 25 vials each along with Odisha and Uttarakhand.

The regional party had criticised the Narendra Modi government by saying only ₹227 crore Central assistance was given to Jharkhand for fighting the pandemic, which was not enough for its 3.5 crore people.

Mr. Soren had expressed dissatisfaction over delay in delivery of liquid medical oxygen tanks and cylinders from manufacturers in Gujarat.

‘Shun politics’

The Jharkhand CM’s comment on Mr. Modi did not go down well with former Jharkhand CM Raghubar Das.

“Hemantji, please shun arrogance and respect the decorum of the post. Prime Minister has a lot of affection for Jharkhand. Concerned over prevailing maladministration in the State, the PM called you. Start implementing his suggestions and stop politics. Please take care of the collapsing system in the State,” Mr. Das retorted on Twitter.

Reacting to Mr. Soren’s attack, Congress leader Ajoy Kumar said the Modi government had miserably failed in the worst-ever crisis the country has faced.

“The situation is such that bodies are being devoured by dogs on streets and people are losing their near and dear ones every minute. The Jharkhand CM’s tweet just summed up the mood of the nation. The PM cannot go on giving sermons. He must work, for which he got the mandate,” said Mr. Kumar.


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Printable version | Jun 23, 2021 5:56:56 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/covid-19-surge-wouldve-been-better-if-pm-modi-talked-business-and-heard-issues-jharkhand-cm/article34504678.ece

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