Updated: May 31, 2021 11:28:39 pm
Haryana’s Leader of the Opposition and former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda has asked the state government to begin preparations for a possible third wave of Covid-19, since the second wave appears to have slowed down.
Addressing a digital press conference on Monday, Hooda said, “Emphasis should now be on strengthening the health services infrastructure in the state. Planning will have to be done from this day to handle the post-corona conditions as inflation, recession, poverty and unemployment are also increasing continuously due to the pandemic.”
The former CM emphasised that besides ensuring good healthcare facilities for people of the state, the government should also keep a watch on other factors including unemployment and financial impact.
“The unemployment rate in Haryana has reached 35.1 per cent and every third person of the state is unemployed. Therefore, the government should help people whose business has got ruined during the Corona pandemic. Government should give Rs 5 lakh to the families of the people who lost their lives due to Corona. Pension should be announced for those families with no bread-earner left. For this, the government must first collect the correct figures of those who died because it is clear to everyone that the number of people who died from the pandemic is much higher than the numbers put out by the government,” Hooda said.
“The government should also announce special insurance for all the frontline warriors, including doctors, medical staff, sanitation workers, ASHA workers, anganwadi workers, policemen and journalists who are needed to step out of their homes to save the lives of the people,” Hooda added.
When asked to respond to Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar’s statement regarding the ongoing vaccination drive in Haryana, Hooda said, “Instead of decreasing the pace of vaccination, it needs to be increased. Statistics put out by the government show that only 20,000 doses are being administered daily. If vaccination was done at the same pace, it would take many years for all people to get the vaccine.”
Asked to respond to the government’s allegation that the opposition was playing politics over Covid-19, Hooda said, “I have never done politics on issues like epidemic and disaster. As Leader of the Opposition, it is my duty and my right to raise people’s problems before the government. What I asked were not my personal questions, but rather the questions of the people who were battling Covid without beds, medicines and oxygen but the Chief Minister did not answer any of them because the government does not have any answers. The Chief Minister is hence resorting to political commentary to hide the government’s failure on sensitive issues like Corona.”
“I come from a family of freedom fighters and have never compromised with my values and never indulged in politics of opportunism. I put national interest above everything else and this is why I was the first to support the removal of Article 370 from Kashmir,” he added.
On the state government describing farmers’ protest sites at Delhi’s borders as Covid-superspreaders, Hooda said, “Instead of fulfilling its responsibility, the government wants to blame the Opposition and the farmers for its failures. The government should take a step forward, talk to the farmers and find a respectable solution.”
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