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BJP leaders attack Hemant Soren over PM jibe, Jagan calls for unity to fight Covid

According to Jharkhand government sources, Soren was upset over not being able to present the issues concerning his state as it was allegedly only PM Modi, who spoke on the matter.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: May 7, 2021 10:34:18 pm
Hemant Soren, JharkhandThe chief minister said proposals for holding the exams online have also been received. File.

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.”

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.

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.

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.

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 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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