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'Vardhan congratulated PM on Covid fight, not state govts, health workers'

Vardhan congratulated PM on Covid fight, not state govts, health workers

New Delhi: TMC MP Derek O'Brien Tuesday hit out at Health Minister Harsh Vardhan for not congratulating the state governments and health workers on their fight against coronavirus or condoling the demises of those who were at the forefront of the battle.

Speaking to the media near Parliament, he said the health minister read out a 12-page statement in Rajya Sabha during which he used the word congratulate once.

Tomorrow morning we will get a chance to ask clarifications. The Health minister used it once. It was a 12-page statement. He used the word congratulate once. Who did he congratulate? The Prime Minister. No, why didn't the health minister congratulate the doctors, the healthcare workers, the nurses, the police, the ward boys, the sweepers, he said.

So many of them have lost their lives. He couldn't be little generous to congratulate them? Or condole those who have lost their lives? said the TMC Rajya Sabha MP.

"No thanks to the state governments even in one of your statements. He could have thanked them and said what they are doing, the Centre could have learnt so much from different states, like my state, Bengal. What are the good things we did, what are the best practices we did. Nothing, he said.

He also questioned the government over its preparations to the fight the virus.

What preparation was done by this government? When we from Trinamool on March 18 came to Parliament wearing masks, what happened? Five of us MPs were asked to leave the House," he alleged.

The TMC leader claimed preparations were in fact made to welcome US President Donald Trump.

"You didn't do any preparation, no preparation (for fighting the virus). You did preparation when Trump came. What were you doing then? You were giving Trump laddus. You were giving him Dhokla. I don't know what else were you giving him? But that is the time when you announced this lockdown.

You said you spoke to chief ministers. I challenge you. What did you write to Chief Ministers before the lockdown? Not one said you had 45 video conferences. How many of those video conferences were before the lockdown? he asked.

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