September 29, 2021 1:44:24 am
On a day, when the issue of Covid-19 deaths in Gujarat forced the brief suspension of four opposition MLAs and adjournment of the state legislature for 30 minutes, the Congress alleged discrepancies in the death numbers placed as response to questions asked in the legistative assembly, and official state Covid-19 bulletins during the pandemic.
Pointing out that the Gujarat government during Question Hour has acknowledged death of only 3,864 persons in the state till August 2021, the Opposition Congress, in a statement circulated among media persons, pointed out that in all the written replies given to various questions asked by MLAs, the government stated that no compensation is required to be paid to the kin of those who died during the pandemic.The Gujarat government later in the evening issued a statement where Health Minister Rushikesh Patel said 10,082 Covid deaths have happened in the state. The minister clarified that the questions related to Covid deaths asked during Question Hour was a mix of those covering an entire district and some restricted to designated Covid hospitals. The minister said Rs 50,000 will be paid as compensation to the kin of Covid victims.
During discussions on a question concerning Covid-19 deaths in Sabarkantha and Aravalli, Leader of the Opposition Paresh Dhanani pointed out the discrepancies in state government’s own data regarding Covid deaths. “As per the figures provided by the 106 municipalities, over 37,600 people have died due to Covid in these urban centres,” he told the House. After a heated debate, Congress MLAs including Virji Thummar, Baldevji Thakor, Kirit Patel and Vikram Madam rushed to the well of the House with the placards. The Speaker suspended the MLAs and adjourned the House for the remaining part of the Question Hour. The Congress MLAs sang “Vaishnava Jana toh” . When the House reconvened after 30 minutes, the Speaker revoked the suspensions.
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