Opinion

Does BJP Really Want A United Fight Against COVID-19 ?

Ever since the second covid-19 wave has hit India in April middle onwards , India’s fight against covid-19 has taken an ugly turn – that of blame game . In a situation where people are gasping for breath, dying for oxygen and unable to get hospital beds , BJP has been unrelenting in shifting the blame on the opposition.

BJP president JP Nadda in -fact went ahead and written a letter interim Congress president Sonia Gandhi , where he accused the Congress of “misleading” people and creating “false panic” in the fight against the pandemic. Congress to hit back stating it was the ill preparedness of the Centre resulting in the devastation caused by the pandemic.

In the first wave last year , BJP and the party spokespersons at various prime time debates left no stone unturned to vociferously drive home a point that when the COVID-19 cases are low then it vindicates the  hashtag # Modi Hai to Mumkin Hai .

But in the second wave this year 2021 , the Centre has put the onus on the state governments to deal with the situation. The Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his meeting with the chief ministers of several states insisted that they take all measures to curb the second wave and ensure that the country does not go into another national lockdown. He stressed that lockdown should be the last option. But ironically, given the bitter centre state relations and the lack of camaraderie the chief ministers of several states went about imposing lockdown in their respective states to curb the rising cases and did not pay heed the Prime Minister Modi’s clarion call for ‘last option’ lockdown.

The inept handling of the second wave has seen the foreign media slamming the Modi government in scathing hard- hitting reports one after another. The government’s attempt of headline management did not work out this time as expected . The real pictures of – high deaths, less oxygen, vaccine shortage , overcrowded crematoriums and even dead bodies floating in the holy river ganga from Bihar to Uttar Pradesh were too much to be ignored.

Yet the BJP despite the real picture chose to divert the real facts and pin blame on the flaws of the opposition chief ministers – Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh . Yes, there has been mistakes ( since the disease is unknown and such severe impact was not anticipated by many ) the states they are in charge but to squarely blame them for the rise in cases and weakening the fight against covid-19 is totally un-called for.

If there is vaccine shortage, hospitals do not have oxygen , patients unable to get hospital beds then what is the point of having a Dr Harsh Vardhan as Union Health and family welfare minister?. Senior Congress leader and former Finance Minister P Chidambaram had tweeted , The Health Minister who declared “there is no shortage of vaccines” should admit his failure and resign The vaccine shortage and the failure of the roll-out programme are examples of the total mismanagement of the fight against coronavirus.

Also should not chief ministers Nitish Kumar ( Bihar ) and Yogi Adityanath (Uttar Pradesh) made accountable for the floating of dead bodies in river ganga and burial of so many dead bodies in the sands? Will BJP chief Minister in Goa Pramod Sawant be made accountable for the hospital deaths of over 75 at hospital due to Oxygen ?

The government which went gung- ho with its slogan Atmanirbhar Bharat has been forced to eat its words and with the second wave reeling havoc it was forced to become #videshparnirbhar ( dependent on foreign aid) . A dramatic u- turn for the BJP which scorned at others for seeking foreign aid . it has received large amounts of medical supplies from a significant number of countries US, Russia, France, Germany, the UK, Ireland, Belgium, Romania, Singapore, Sweden Kuwait , Taiwan, Bangladesh (the very country which Home Minister Amit Shah had called Termites).

Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi slammed the government’s zeal over getting foreign aid in a tweet he wrote, GOI’s repeated chest-thumping at receiving foreign aid is pathetic. Had GOI done its job, it wouldn’t have come to this.

Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, Three- time Congress  MP from Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, also in a tweet slammed the Modi government’s dependence on foreign aid as he wrote , The Govt’s floundering mishandling of the #Covid crisis & dependence on foreign assistance has undermined our national self-respect. And yet they ask us for “positivity”?

It is indeed bewildering to find that even amidst the scourge of the second wave , BJP has still not shied away from making attempts to unsettle the opposition government’s . Giving the LG more than the Chief Minister in Delhi is an example . Another is the constant meddling in the affairs of the West Bengal under Mamata Banerjee. The party saffron party its seems it unable to digest how its high decibel campaign for its Mission Bengal came as a cropper despite using all the arsenal like – Election Commission , CBI, ED and pro party news channels who simply danced to their tunes and believed what BJP party leaders said abki baar 200 paar.

Even after been decisively rejected by the voters on May 2 with Trinamool Congress powering to a third term under Mamata Banerjee, BJP is proving to be poor losers as the CBI action on TMC leaders in the Narada sting case show. It is time BJP accepts and respect the verdict given by people of West Bengal and move on. Khela hobe has become Khela Shesh for the BJP now so far as their mission Bengal is concerned .

Bottom line is the war with COVID-19 will be won only when there is no blame game and centre and state work in perfect coordination . BJP would do well to realise that if you are unable to handle the present then its is fruitless and waste of time to blame the past for the current mess it finds itself in . BJP led NDA has been in power for the last seven years. It is time they realise that in a democracy there is always a opposition. But to term every different view of opposition leader or party as anti-national  then democracy is in serious jeopardy . And if  the opposition is seen as so divisive  and seen as enemies not rivals then   why the need to build a new parliament if one is not ready to take criticism and  suggestions ?

It is not the first time that BJP led NDA is in power at the centre . Under Atal Bihari Vajpayee, for the first time for a term of 13 days in 1996, then for a period of 13 months from 1998 to 1999, followed by a full term from 1999 to 2004. There was never such bitterness and such acrimonious Centre- state relations. There was a bonhomie between the BJP leaders with the opposition party leaders too. Vajpayee the statesman made it happen and lead by example. But then it was the Advani- Vajpayee era.  Now BJP in the Modi- Shah era such equation between the  government  and opposition is sure fantasy.

Hence it is time the BJP follows the Atal mantra of governance. Then only one can say that that the party lives by its slogan Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas‘ . Otherwise making catchy slogans will have no meaning if it does not resonate on the ground . It is this unity that will help India win the COVID-19 battle nothing else.

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