The Uttar Pradesh Government is not only concealing the actual number of coronavirus cases and deaths in the state, it is also cremating bodies without informing the relatives, accuses former chef minister Akhilesh Yadav. The Samajwadi Party’s national president told this correspondent that he had definite information that police had been cremating bodies in Agra and Kanpur without informing the relatives.
What’s more, the BJP government in the state is profiling COVID-19 patients on religious lines, he alleged. “Government has made a separate column on the basis of religion. In some localities people of a particular community alone were being tested and in several cases police went into Muslim households and accused them of spreading the virus,” he added.
Reports he is receiving from the villages, said Yadav, are frightening. Villagers are starving because a large number of them do not have ration cards. Several people have committed suicide and fear is all pervasive. Neither arrangements have been made for providing them food nor medical care is accessible, he said.
With the state government and police treating COVID-19 patients as criminals, there is fear and people are reluctant to get themselves tested, the former CM informed. More testing is needed and the state government must build trust, Yadav added, instead of holding long-drawn meetings in Lucknow.
Had he been the CM, Yadav quipped, he would have stationed ministers and senior bureaucrats in the districts and made them accountable. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, his 60 ministers and bureaucrats were camping in Lucknow instead and holding never-ending discussions, he said sarcastically.
Pointing out that this disease did not originate in India and the infection came from outside, he debunked the ruling party’s propaganda blaming a community for the spread. " If people from Malaysia brought this disease who gave them visa? Why were these people not checked at the airports where they disembarked? The WHO had issued alert in January and yet why were no preventive steps taken?"
Demanding that the state government immediately provide work and wages under MGNREGA and resume delivery of midday meals to children, the former chief minister asked the government to relax rules and provide ration to even people without a ration card.
Yadav scoffed at Yogi Adityanath’s claim that he could provide a million and a half jobs immediately. “On the one hand the government has frozen all funds at the disposal of MPs and MLAs, has stopped paying DA to employees, indicating how starved it is of funds, while on the other hand it is making tall but meaningless claims,” he commented.
Commenting on reports that as many as 100 companies are ready to shift operations from China to Uttar Pradesh, he rolled his eyes in amusement and said on a more serious note that the state would have a hard time in keeping the existing industrial units operational.