Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal finally broke his silence on Sunday evening. He had been silently spending time in Bengaluru — going under the knife for a throat ailment — while the chikungunya and dengue cases peaked in Delhi and the oppositions had a field day attacking Delhi government.
And, why not? Till now, the vector-borne diseases have claimed 27 lives and more than 3000 people have got infected.
Quite literally after regaining his voice, the CM addressed the people of Delhi immediately after returning from Bengaluru, through a video, which was uploaded on Twitter by AAP volunteer and National Council member, Akshay Malhotra on Sunday evening.
It was a stoic answer to all the detractors of Delhi government, who had been asking uncomfortable questions on the alarming rise in the number of dengue and chikungunya cases.
— Akshay Malhotra (@Akshay1Malhotra) September 18, 2016
Drawing an analogy of India-Pakistan cricket match, Kejriwal appealed Delhiites and all political parties to get united in the war against mosquito menace, like they do during the match.
“I appeal the Congress party and the BJP with folded hands to get united, like we all Indians get together (to support India) during India-Pakistan cricket match, and wage war against mosquitoes. If Delhi got success on a much bigger issue of Odd-Even scheme, we’ll sort out this mosquito menace,” said Kejriwal in his address.
Putting rest to all controversies and political war of words that happened during his absence, Kejriwal said a large number of chikungunya and dengue cases have emerged, with people in almost every house in Delhi have been found to be suffering due to it.
“Besides, the rise in mosquito menace, lot of politics had been played on this issue. I believe mosquitoes don’t discriminate between a Congress and a BJP person while biting. We should stop politicking and take this problem head on. MCD didn’t do its job, which it was supposed to, but now Delhi government, MCDs and central government have to join hands and fight it out for the people of Delhi,” he emphasized.
While the Delhi CM was in Bengaluru, a political war of words erupted in the national capital over the absence of Delhi government ministers Manish Sisodia, Satyendra Jain, Gopal Rai, etc (who were either touring abroad or were out of Delhi), as death toll due to vector-borne diseases rose. The Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung had also been on a tour to the US, and on his return, asked the ministers to get back to Delhi.
While the BJP had severely criticised the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government for the absence of the ministers, the Congress mocked the government with a ‘Bhagoda Divas’ in Delhi.
Kejriwal’s Bengaluru visits have always played an instrumental role in his decision-making process.
In March 2015, when two senior leaders of AAP, Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan were evicted or precisely voted out from AAP’s Political Affairs committee, party supremo Kejriwal wasn’t present in the national executive meeting in which the said decision was taken. He was in Bengaluru for his naturopathy treatment.
Similarly, in February 2016, while undergoing naturopathy treatment, he had announced a loan of Rs 551 crore for North and East MCDs from Bengaluru.
And, this time immediately after his return to Delhi on Sunday evening, he broke his silence over chikungunya and dengue menace with a positive message, rather than in his inimitable style of launching a scathing attack on his opponents. Besides appealing for a united front to combat mosquito menace in the national capital, Kejriwal announced a few measures that his government would take up.
— Called his Health and PWD ministers, and told them to gear up to go on a war-footing to combat mosquito menace in Delhi.
— Ordered to buy as many fogging machines required to cover each and every corner of Delhi.
— Fogging should be done on every alternative day in every bylanes and locality.
— Has planned to meet the leaders of every political party in Delhi to discuss his strategy and seek cooperation.
— Appealed every political party to join hands with AAP government to deal with the alarming situation.
— Take stock of the arrangements in Delhi hospitals.