Uttarakhand Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat on Sunday said people with fewer “units (family members)” had ended up getting less government rations during the Covid-19 lockdown as compared to those who “reproduced 20”, creating “jealousy”, saying it was their fault for not reproducing enough.
Addressing an event on International Forests Day in Nainital district, Rawat said people had never had such good quality rice, and some had even stocked and sold it. He also praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s efforts in tackling Covid-19, comparing it to America’s, which he said had “enslaved” India for “200 years”. The speech, which was shown live on Rawat’s personal Facebook account, was later taken down.
The newly appointed CM, currently fighting fire over his attack on women for wearing ripped jeans, said, “… Har ghar mein per unit 5 kilo ration dene ka kam kiya. Jiske 10 thai toh 50 kilo aa gaya, 20 thai toh quintal aa gaya, 2 thai toh 10 kilo aa gaya. Logon ne store bana liye, kharidar saamne dhoondh liye. Itna badhiya chawal aaya, kabhi apne aap bhi liya nahin saamanya jeevan ke liye (Every household was given 5 kg ration per unit. Those having 10 units got 50 kg, those with 20 units got a quintal and those with two units got 10 kg. People built stores and found customers in the neighbourhood. The rice they got was of such good quality that they would have never had the same in their lives).”
The newly appointed CM is set to face more heat over the remarks, after his comments on women regarding ripped jeans and his assertion that he wasn’t in favour of Covid “impediments” at the Kumbh Mela. The Centre had intervened, saying proper precautions must be taken.
The difference in allocation of rations between families had created “jalan (jealousy)”, Rawat said. “…Ki mujhe to 2 hain to 10 kilo mila, 20 wale ko quintal kyun mila? Bhaiyya ismein dosh kiska? Usne 20 paida kiya, aapne 2 paida kiye, to usko ek quintal mil raha, ab ismein jalan kahe ka? Jab samay tha to aapne 2 hi paida kiye, 20 kyun nahi kiya (…That I have got two family members, so got 10 kg, those with 20 units have got a quintal. But whose fault is that? One who reproduced 20 got a quintal, you reproduced only two. Why jealously on that? When there was time, you reproduced only two, why not 20)?”
#WATCH “…As opposed to other countries, India is doing better in terms of handling #COVID19 crisis. America, who enslaved us for 200 years and ruled the world, is struggling in current times,” says Uttarakhand CM Tirath Singh Rawat pic.twitter.com/gHa9n33W2O
— ANI (@ANI) March 21, 2021
Rawat added that the PM had ensured that everyone was treated equally during the lockdown, and that but for his leadership, India would have been badly hit by Covid-19. Giving the example of America’s steep coronavirus death toll, he said India had fared better than the US despite being its “ghulam (slave)” for 200 years.
Rawat said Modi would not just continue as PM but also lead the world in the future.
Forest Minister Harak Singh Rawat, BJP MLAs, officials of the Forest Department and district administration were present at the event.
Criticising Rawat’s remarks, the Congress said, “When the country is facing the problem of population and governments are taking steps to control it, it seems CM Rawat is asking people to reproduce more kids to get more rations. His remark that people had not eaten rice of such good quality is also derogatory.”
BJP chief spokesperson Munna Singh Chauhan said he couldn’t comment on Rawat’s remarks as he was not aware of them.