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BJP govt would stand exposed if it identifies all families of Covid victims, says Gujarat Congress chief

"We received information of three lakh deaths (due to Covid) in Gujarat and the government does not want to admit to it till date..." Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) president Jagdish Thakor said.

By: Express News Service | Ahmedabad |
December 16, 2021 8:10:07 am
Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) Jagdish Thakor (Express File Photo by Nirmal Harindran)

Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) president Jagdish Thakor on Wednesday questioned the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP’s) lack of intent to identify all families of Covid-19 victims and disburse the ex gratia, adding that if the government did it, they would “stand exposed”.

In his first media briefing after being appointed as the GPCC chief, Thakor said, “Despite lakhs of people dying due to lack of facilities, lack of oxygen, lack of medicines, the government till date does not want to admit (to its follies)… The government continues to hide figures… of deaths, of testing…”

Claiming that during the Congress Nyay Yatra, the party workers met nearly one lakh families who lost a person to Covid, Thakor said, “We received information of three lakh deaths (due to Covid) in Gujarat and the government does not want to admit to it till date and they continue to say there were just 10,000 deaths… Today you see 22,000 claims (for ex gratia) have been sanctioned and there are more in the pipeline. The government has no intent to pay compensation.”

The GPCC president went on to add, “Against the ex gratia of Rs 4 lakh under the National Disaster Management Act, they have decided to pay Rs 50,000… honourable (Supreme) Court has had to repeatedly pull up Gujarat government (to pay compensation)… The Bharatiya Janata Party till date does not have a system in place to provide relief to people… You have talatis, you have gram sevaks, you have an existing system to facilitate filling claim forms in villages… why can you not collect details of all deceased by calling for gram sabhas in each village… There is a system, an existing mechanism, capable of collecting necessary details of all the deceased in two hours, by arranging for gram sabhas in every panchayat in all villages of Gujarat in one day… then why not do that? That is because when this information comes, you will be exposed then…”

“This is an issue of the poor. Despite spending lakhs, people could not save their family members… If a mechanism is not put in place to provide relief to the next of kin of the deceased then in the coming days, we will arrange to meet the President of India with the families of the deceased…we demand that the true figures of death be provided and relief to all deceased be given,” he said.

Claiming that the Congress will go across villages and wards to assist with relief, Thakor said, “Let the government prove that these figures (of three lakh deaths) is wrong… let BJP’s health minister answer questions from a stage at Manek Chowk… come to an open field to have an open discussion… I’m throwing an open challenge… We have identified families of the deceased and we will agitate from taluka-level, up to the Rashtrapati Bhavan to ensure they get compensation…We received 48,000 forms with deceased’s details during our Nyay Yatra.”

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