Governance failure in Uttar Pradesh: Priyanka slams Yogi govt's response to COVID-19 second wave
New Delhi, Apr 22: Alleging a failure of governance in Uttar Pradesh in the face of the COVID-19 second wave, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has said the Yogi Adityanath dispensation long ceased to act as a protector and support system for the people in the state, and has increasingly assumed the role of an "aggressor".
In an interview, the Congress general secretary in-charge Uttar Pradesh also said the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic was simply another reflection of the UP government's "arrogant, autocratic and inhuman attitude" towards the people of the state.
Her remarks came amid a steep rise in coronavirus cases, with the Uttar Pradesh government saying that the state had registered 33,214 fresh cases and 187 deaths on Wednesday, both the highest daily rise so far.
Asked about the grim COVID-19 situation in the state, Priyanka Gandhi said the fundamental issue is that the government in UP has long ceased to act as a protector, facilitator and a support system for the public. "It (the state government) has increasingly assumed the role of an aggressor. The handling of the COVID pandemic is simply another reflection of its arrogant, autocratic and inhuman attitude towards the people of UP," she said.
The biggest failure has been in governance as there has been no planning, no preparation and no foresight whatsoever, the Congress leader alleged. "Countries all over the world faced a second wave -- what did we learn from them? How did we use the gap between the first and second wave to prepare UP for what was inevitably going to come?" Priyanka Gandhi asked.
The UP government's own sero-survey results showed 5 crore people were exposed to the virus which was indicative of a second wave coming, she said. "The government was advised to exponentially ramp-up testing. What happened? They reduced overall testing, switched to upto 70 per cent antigen testing and ignored their own sero-survey reports," she said, hitting out at the state government.
Rather than putting every single resource into saving lives and combatting the pandemic, the UP government is still wasting time and resources on "covering up" the truth, Priyanka Gandhi alleged.
"The government has let people down. Their incompetence and lack of clarity is exacting an unprecedented human cost that no one should ever have had to pay," she said. On the alleged lack of preparation to deal with the second wave, she said, "How else can the Chief Minister and his government explain that despite having months of time between one wave and the other, no effort was made to increase UP's capacity for hospital beds, for oxygen or for the availability of COVID medication."
In a letter to the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, the Congress general secretary had urged the creation of a database of available hospitals and beds so that people can seek admission directly.
Priyanka Gandhi had also flagged the issue of oxygen availability, saying she had been told that people need permission from the district magistrate for hospital admission. She had called for removal of all such rules causing difficulties for families of patients.