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Three lakh people died of COVID-19 in Gujarat but not paid enough compensation, says Rahul Gandhi

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi. File   | Photo Credit: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

Ahead of the 2022 Assembly polls in Gujarat, the Congress on Wednesday launched a campaign that challenges the “Gujarat Model” and alleged that three lakh people died of COVID-19 in the State and demanded ₹4 lakh as compensation for the victims.

Termed as the “Congress Nyay Campaign”, the short video has former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi assuring people that his party will make sure that the Government pays ₹4 lakh as compensation to the kin of the victims.

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Mr. Gandhi also urged people to register themselves on 4lakhdenahoga.com. He said right now the Government is paying only ₹50,000 to the victims and the Gujarat Government has acknowledged only 10,000 deaths.

“The Congress party has two demands. The correct figure of deaths should be given and ₹4 lakh compensation should be given to the families. The Government will have to ease the pain of the people and they should get compensation,” he tweeted along with the campaign video.

The video also has testimonials by the families of the victims talking about lack of testing facilities, shortage of hospital beds, oxygen and ventilators.

“There is always a lot of discussion about the Gujarat model. All the families we spoke to said they didn’t find a hospital bed, ventilator or oxygen,” Mr. Gandhi said in the video.

The clip showed a member of a Patel family from Valsad saying, “My bother would have been alive if he had got a ventilator”.

“They say Ahmedabad is a megacity but we had to go to Anand for a hospital bed,” the video quoted a woman from the Qadri family.

An elderly man from Himmatnagar’s Prajapati family breaks down while talking about his son dying while being treated inside a vehicle.

“When you had to help them in the hospital, you were not there and when they lost ₹10-15 lakh in hospital and also their family members, you were still not there to provide compensation. What type of Government is this,” Mr. Gandhi asked.

The Congress leader alleged that while the Narendra Modi Government can’t pay the compensation, it waived off lakhs of crores in tax reliefs to business tycoons and bought aircraft worth ₹8,500 crore to fly the Prime Minister.

“The Congress party will exert pressure on the Government and will make sure compensation of ₹4 lakh each is paid,” Mr. Gandhi said.

Though the BJP had changed almost the entire Cabinet including former Chief Minister Vijay Rupani in September over its handling of the pandemic, the video makes it clear that the party would make it a major poll issue for the Assembly elections towards the end of 2022.


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Printable version | Jan 20, 2022 2:30:52 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/credible-data-needed-on-covid-19-deaths-in-country-rahul-gandhi/article37658517.ece

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