Akhilesh Yadav questions UP govt's handling of COVID-19 crisis, says 'BJP following its basic training, creating hatred against Muslims'
Akhilesh did not challenge the nation-level decision to impose a lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus, but added that the government should keep in mind the economic impact of prolonged restrictions.
Lucknow: Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav on Tuesday accused the BJP of creating hatred against Muslims over the coronavirus crisis, saying the ruling party members are following their "basic training".
In an interview with PTI, he charged the Bharatiya Janata Party of spreading false reports of Muslims in quarantine centres demanding 'biryani'.
Yadav also questioned the handling of the crisis by the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh.
"The CM is ignoring public representatives and officers are ruling the roost," he said, suggesting that the state's ministers should be more involved.
The SP leader did not challenge the nation-level decision to impose a lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus , but added that the government should keep in mind the economic impact of prolonged restrictions.
"It is the basic training of the BJP to create hatred against Muslims. And they are doing just that. It will not end. The reports that they are demanding non-veg food and biryani in quarantine homes are being spread by them. They have succeeded in creating hatred in the society," said Yadav.
The SP president was responding to a question if he saw any bias against the particular community in BJP governments' action in handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Attacking the Yogi Adityanath government, he said the chief minister is busy meeting with his Team-11 (group of 11 officers) and not eliciting views of the MPs, MLAs and ministers.
"The CM is playing a game and not serious in dealing with the crisis. In the past over three years of his rule, he failed to create any infrastructure in the state and has only been utilising the facilities developed during the previous SP regime. He must be realising that," he said.
Stating that a "frustration is growing among the BJP legislators", Akhilesh said, "The CM is ignoring public representatives and officers are ruling the roost. They should have been involved in their respective areas to see the loopholes and keep an eye on wrongs done by officers."
"Where are the ministers? They were made in-charge of districts. Who is stopping them from coming out and why? The CM is acting only on directions of officers and playing a 20-30 day match," Yadav said.
About his views on extending the lockdown, he said, "Is there any other way out? Lockdown, increasing tests and staying at home are the only things that can be done. In areas, where there are hotspots, there is no option except to continue lockdown."
"If the government opens the lockdown and situation deteriorates and they have to re-impose it, what will happen then? This should also be considered. The coronavirus is spreading among police force and nurses. All their contacts need to be traced," he said, adding that help should be taken from everyone.
Talking about the economic aspect of the crisis, Yadav said, "All business activities have stopped. Prolonged lockdown will make the situation worse. The government should keep it in mind and formulate policy accordingly."
Alleging that the BJP government is creating a fear of "sending people to jail" if they do not report symptoms of the infection, the former chief minster said the government should try to "create confidence" instead among the people and take their help by making them "aware".
"They should be given assurance that they will not be sent to jail. They should not be threatened but be tested wherever there is doubt and provide facilities to the poor," he added.
The SP president's latest barb against the Adityanath government came days after he attacked the chief minister for his "Agra model" of combating the deadly virus, saying, according to Mayor Naveen Jain, it has failed.
"According to the mayor, the much-touted Agra model of chief minister has failed and will make Agra (in UP), a Wuhan ( of China). No testing, no medicines and private hospitals for other diseases, no life saving kits and now mismanagement of quarantine centres is proving deadly. Wake up government," Yadav had said in a tweet in Hindi.
Last Tuesday, Yadav had asked the Uttar Pradesh government to provide food to children who were getting it under the mid-day meal scheme in schools and offered the services of his party's organisation for its distribution through bicycles of his workers.
"The government should immediately make arrangements for delivering food under the mid-day meal scheme to children at their home. If by rising above politics, the government takes any decision, the SP organisation and workers spread in villages can do this distribution on their cycles. We are ready," the former chief minister said.
In another tweet, he had aksed the government to clarify how much food-material was in store.
"The government should clarify, how much food material was in store and for how many days so that the people avoid hoarding," he said.
The Samajwadi Party supremo also asked the Uttar Pradesh government to identify people, who are dying on way to their home and give Rs 25 lakh to their families.
"Those who died on way to their homes should be identified and their bodies should be sent to their native places. Families of such persons should also be given Rs 25 lakh," Akhilesh said.
He also appealed to party workers to continue tradition of 'samajwadis' and help the poor and needy as much as they can and provide them food, medicine, treatment and make arrangements for them for taking rest.
With the fresh cases, India's total tally of COVID-19 cases rose to 3,33,16,755, while the toll has climbed to 4,43,497, according to the data updated at 8 am
The daily positivity rate has been recorded at 2.46 percent. It has been less than three percent for the last 19 days
A reduction of 8,164 cases has been recorded in the active COVID-19 caseload in a span of 24 hours as per the health ministry's data