Updated: May 7, 2021 10:34:18 pm
Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren Thursday termed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s phone call on the Covid-19 situation as PM’s “Mann Ki Baat” instead of any “Kaam ki baat” — a comment that did not go down well with BJP leaders who accused him of “politicising” the Covid pandemic.
His Andhra Pradesh counterpart Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy, too, urged Soren that it is not the time to point fingers but work unitedly and fight the pandemic.
Modi had on Thursday spoken to the chief ministers of Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, and Telangana besides Jharkhand about the COVID-19 situation in their states.
Following the telephonic conversation, Soren, taking a dig at the PM, tweeted: “Today the respected Prime Minister called. He only spoke his ‘Mann Ki Baat’. It would have been better if he had talked business and heard the issues.”
आज आदरणीय प्रधानमंत्री जी ने फोन किया। उन्होंने सिर्फ अपने मन की बात की। बेहतर होता यदि वो काम की बात करते और काम की बात सुनते।
— Hemant Soren (@HemantSorenJMM) May 6, 2021
According to Jharkhand government sources, Soren was upset as he did not get a chance to present the issues concerning his state as it was allegedly only PM Modi who held forth on the matter.
“The Jharkhand CM’s angst was palpable,” said sources close to CM. “PM Modi did not ask anything on the condition of the state and on resources and what all the state needed. The state has been struggling to get the required medicines. He just went on and on. This led the CM to write this tweet,” the source said.
The Jharkhand CM’s jibe, however, angered the BJP leaders, who accused him of lacking the basic courtesy expected of a person holding his office and lowering its dignity.
In a strongly-worded message, Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan told the Jharkhand CM to “fight Corona and not the PM”. In a tweet, Vardhan said, “While making a statement on the Prime Minister, one must not forget that the pandemic can be brought under control only by the combined efforts of the Centre and the state governments”.
He further said that when the Centre has opened it’s treasuries to help the poor during the pandemic, the Jharkhand government has further tightened its purse strings.
केंद्र सरकार ने कोरोना संकट काल में जहां ग़रीबों और ज़रूरतमंदों के लिए खज़ाने खोल दिए हैं, वहीं झारखंड सरकार ने, अपने खज़ाने का मुंह बंद कर रखा है।
श्री @HemantSorenJMM जी चाहते हैं कि हर काम केंद्र सरकार करे।
कोरोना से लड़िए, PM से नहीं !@PMOIndia
— Dr Harsh Vardhan (@drharshvardhan) May 7, 2021
Attacking the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha leader, BJP general secretary (organisation) B L Santhosh said, “This is the level to which some politicians are stooping. PM calls & has detailed talk regarding COVID-19 crisis & this CM tweets so. Lacks minimum grace required for the position he holds (sic).”
BJP MP (Uttarakhand) Anil Baluni also targeted Soren saying he had zero knowledge of basic courtesy to be shown towards a senior leader.
ना आपको देशके संघीय ढांचे का ज्ञान, न सामान्य शिष्टाचार की समझ, न बड़ों से व्यवहार का प्रशिक्षण और न ही अपनी कुनीतियों से बेहाल झारखंड की चिंता @HemantSorenJMM,जनता आपकी गलत नीतियों की भेंट न चढ़े। आप झारखंड के लोगों को उनके हाल पर छोड़ सकते हो मगर मोदी सरकार हर क्षण उनके साथ है https://t.co/KkSeq8tj4Y
— Anil Baluni (@anil_baluni) May 7, 2021
Assam BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma said Soren’s tweet goes against the basic decorum and also mocks people’s suffering as Modi had called up to enquire about them. “You have behaved in a very petty way. You have lowered the dignity of the chief minister’s chair,” Sarma said.
आपका यह ट्वीट न सिर्फ़ न्यूनतम मर्यादा के ख़िलाफ़ है बल्कि उस राज्य की जनता की पीड़ा का भी मजाक़ उड़ाना है जिनका हाल जानने के लिए माननीय प्रधानमंत्री जी ने फ़ोन किया था। बहुत ओछी हरकत कर दी आपने। मुख्यमंत्री पद की गरिमा भी गिरा दी https://t.co/AIm0V6uc17
— Himanta Biswa Sarma (@himantabiswa) May 6, 2021
Andhra Pradesh CM and YSR Congress Party chief Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy also termed Soren’s remark as “not fitting” in such troubled times.
In this war against Covid-19, these are the times not to point fingers but to come together and strengthen the hands of our Prime Minister to effectively combat the pandemic. 2/2
— YS Jagan Mohan Reddy (@ysjagan) May 7, 2021
In a tweet, Reddy said, “Dear @HemantSorenJMM, I have great respect for you, but as a brother I would urge you, no matter what ever our differences are, indulging in such level of politics would only weaken our own nation.”
He added that in this war against Covid-19, it is not the time “to point fingers but to come together and strengthen the hands of our Prime Minister to effectively combat the pandemic.”
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