Cong questions Sisodia's absence at time of health crisis

Last Updated 17 September 2016, 09:25 IST

The Delhi Congress on Friday refused to join the AAP government’s all-party campaign to counter dengue and chikungunya and held protests across 70 Assembly constituencies, questioning the absence of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal at the time of a crisis.

Calling the protest as “Bhagoda Diwas” (Deserters' Day), Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken said: “The campaign is a gimmick. The Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister are yet to join it and we are being told to lend a helping hand.”

“We demand an all-party meeting to take joint efforts against dengue and chikungunya,” he said.

The protest is also being seen as an attempt by the party to test the anti-incumbency mood in the city. According to sources, the Congress is preparing for the possible mini-elections in 21 Assembly constituencies if 21 legislators, serving as parliamentary secretaries, lose their House membership for allegedly holding an office of profit. The matter is pending before the EC.

While travelling through many constituencies, Maken hit out at Kejriwal and his team’s recent tours and visits and also accused Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung and Mayors of the BJP-ruled corporation of being away when the city needed them the most.

“Delhi is fighting an epidemic. Kejriwal was campaigning in Punjab and later went to Bangalore. Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia is in Finland,” he said.

The Congress also released a "chargesheet” on the alleged failures of the Kejriwal government in Delhi and the BJP-ruled municipal corporations. Maken demanded that Kejriwal and Sisodia should return to Delhi and call an all-party meeting to fight the diseases.

He also urged the central government to immediately deploy doctors and paramedical staff of army and paramilitary forces at Delhi hospitals and dispensaries, and provide free check up and treatment facilities to people suffering from these diseases.

Kejriwal is recovering after a throat surgery in Bangalore and during the week there was a day when only Water Minister Kapil Mishra was in the city and the rest of the Cabinet members were either abroad or on visits to other states.

At present, just two Cabinet ministers – Mishra and Health Minister Satyendar Jain – are actively fighting dengue and chikungunya in the city. Sacked minister Sandeep Kumar is in jail. Labour Minister Gopal Rai is in Chhattisgarh and Environment Minister Imran Hussain is on a pilgrimage.

(Published 17 September 2016, 09:25 IST)

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