By Arun Pratap Singh
Dehradun, 2 Jun: Congress and BJP today indulged in a war of words over alleged special treatment to Cabinet Minister Satpal Maharaj, who has tested positive for COVID-19.
While the Congress has demanded legal action against Maharaj, claiming that he had violated rules related to quarantine and had endangered lives of others by not following the rules, BJP Spokesman Munna Singh Chauhan alleged that Congress was indulging in needless politics over the issue. He added that while the ruling party, the BJP, and the government were busy fighting the Corona pandemic, Congress had busied itself in fighting the Corona patients instead of the disease itself.
Today, PCC Chief Pritam Singh issued a statement that BJP, on the one hand, had been very strictly filing cases of violations by the common man under serious provisions of the law, but in the case of Maharaj, he had been allowed to bypass the law and no action had been taken against him for violating the rules.
He also referred to the ‘rather strange decision’ of the AIIMS administration to first permit Maharaj and his family to go for home quarantine on Monday evening and then overturning its own decision and calling the them back to the hospital when it became a hot issue late last evening.
Government spokesman and Cabinet Minister Madan Kaushik too accused the Congress of making an issue out of a “non issue”. He added that the minister was not aware of his being Corona positive when he had attended the Cabinet and on Monday evening he was discharged since the ICMR guidelines allowed non-symptomatic Corona patients to home quarantine. However, he conceded that in Uttarakhand, this had not been allowed, so far. Kaushik also said that Maharaj returned to AIIMS because his residence was not adequately equipped to handle Corona cases!
Meanwhile, low risk persons including top government officials and Secretary, Tourism, Dilip Jawalkar were also allowed not to undergo quarantine and work as before. They were categorised as low risk cases and had not come in close contact with Maharaj.