New Delhi: The BJP-led centre and Delhi's Aam Aadmi Party government have blamed each other for the massive health crisis in Delhi, where five people have died of the mosquito-borne viral disease chikungunya and 10 of dengue.
Union Health Minister JP Nadda accused the Delhi government of not taking enough preventive measures to avoid the outbreak despite being offered advice and help by the centre. "Delhi government has not shown seriousness. We have given them all support. Chief Minister (Arvind Kejriwal) and many ministers are out of city. Elected government has to take responsibility," he said.
The Delhi government "should be more sensitive to the people," Mr Nadda said, adding, "There should not be any politics on such a serious matter."
That was in reference to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's tweet this morning in which he said, "CM n min left wid no power now, even to buy a pen. LG n PM enjoy all powers wrt Del. LG abroad. Question them for Del (sic)."
Mr Nadda faulted Mr Kejriwal and Delhi's Health Minister Satyendar Jain for being away from Delhi at a time of crisis. While Mr Kejriwal is in Bengaluru for throat surgery, Mr Jain was in Goa for three days overseeing AAP's preparations for assembly elections next year.
The AAP minister landed in the capital and straight in the middle of controversy on Tuesday and immediately hit back at the centre. "We were thoroughly prepared to tackle dengue and chikungunya in Delhi. Measures had been taken 3-4 months in advance. The hospitals under Delhi government are separate from those belonging to the centre," he said.
In Mr Jain's absence, his colleague Kapil Mishra launched a defence asking where Delhi's LG or its three mayors were, blaming the capital's BJP-led civic bodies for not preventing the spread of mosquitoes.
The BJP's Sambit Patra has suggested that Mr Kejriwal should quit. "Sir if you don't have the capacity to buy a pen, as you are suggesting, why don't you resign? If you say that you have no role as the Chief Minister of Delhi, how come the Chief Minister and other ministers' offices spent Rs one crore on samosas and Rs 526 crore on ads," asked BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra.
That was in reference to reports that Mr Kejriwal and his six-member Delhi cabinet ran up a bill of over Rs one crore on tea and snacks, including samosas, for guests since they came to power 18 months ago.