Devendra Fadnavis writes to Cong chief, questions 'Mumbai Model' on fudging death data

Alleging that Maharashtra covered up as many as 9,603 deaths during the pandemic last year, Leader of Opposition in the state assembly Devendra Fadnavis has, in a letter addressed to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, said that the state still records the highest number of deaths, which is 31 per cent of the total fatalities in the country.

Fadnavis, who wrote the letter in response to Sonia Gandhi’s letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and subsequent reactions and comments by Congress leaders, says certain things about the current scenario needed to be brought to her notice.

Arguing that the sense of negativity in politics is not going to help, Fadnavis says the entire world is praising efforts made by Modi to combat the pandemic crisis. “The Congress party leaders and chief ministers who were initially averse to the vaccine are now playing politics over it. Each month, the volume of vaccine production is increasing, we will have around 200 crore vaccine doses produced between August and December,” he has said.

“If we talk about the situation existing as on May 13, Maharashtra has seen a 22 per cent positivity rate which was more than 30 per cent for a few months. The number of infected patients is close to 14 per cent,” the ex-CM has said adding, though the BJP is not in power in Maharashtra, the Modi government is offering much-needed help and standing solidly with the people of the state.

The Centre has provided 1.80 crore doses of vaccine, over 8 lakh Remedesivir injections besides, 1,750 MT oxygen to Maharashtra. The ventilators and oxygen concentrators were also provided in sufficient numbers by the Union government. But the state is trying to suppress the number of deaths for obvious reasons and prefers to register them under ‘deaths due to other reasons’, Fadnavis has alleged.

“Hiding the number of deaths is what we call the Mumbai Model,” he has asked in the letter.

When across the nation 4,000 deaths were registered, Maharashtra alone records 850 deaths. It means 22 per cent deaths were recorded in Maharashtra alone. Above all, the state government is simply neglecting rural parts of the state and it is for the judiciary to interfere by asking for a sufficient supply of Remedesivir injections. While the state was extending the lockdown period, it was neglecting the weaker sections and issuing tenders for image building exercises through social media, Fadnavis has alleged.

Fadnavis says it was the duty of the Opposition to offer suggestions but efforts were on to create an atmosphere of negativity. Mere criticism was not going to offer anything. But it's pertinent to have a look at what's happening in the states where Congress is in power. “I hope you will be able to understand the current situation in Maharashtra,” he has said.

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