COVID health crisis makes deep crevice in BJP, RSS ranks: Reporttext_fields
The second rise of COVID and the disaster it is unleashing in the country have reportedly created a deep discontent among the top ranks of the ruling BJP and its ideological mentor Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh against the Modi government.
The party has never stooped to a level that is being witnessed now since its advent to power seven years ago due to the prevailed health crisis in the country because of mismanagement and negligence, said a report published in NDTV.
Some leaders, who are declined to be named, were quoted to have said to NDTV that there is a strong feeling within the party ranks that a Cabinet reshuffle, inducting new faces, is the only way out of this crisis, not less damage control.
According to the report, the BJP and RSS are concerned with the perception that the government dropped the ball on COVID, given that almost everyone in the ruling party's core support base is affected by the deadly pandemic. The middle class are the worst-hit - and now the virus is spreading to the villages, especially in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
The pandemic has proved the unpreparedness of the government in managing the COVID crisis and this has exposed the poor health infrastructure in the country, the report quoted some BJP leaders admitting.
Senior leaders in BJP pointed out to NDTV that PM Modi's campaign in West Bengal, while Covid cases were spiralling in the country, has sent a "wrong message".
Top BJP leaders were campaigning in West Bengal and attending huge rallies and roadshows without masks, prioritising votes over public safety, and the imagery across global media could not have been worse.
The report also quotes leaders saying that "People are disappointed with the central leadership and they blame lack of action on their part for the current situation, which has gone out of our hands"
These leaders also blame lack of communication within the government.
"The Principal Scientific Adviser K Vijay Raghavan warns us about the third wave but he never talked about the second wave," a leader lashed out.
Turning the matter to worse, the letter of Union Minister Santosh Gangwar to UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath flagging oxygen shortage, "black-marketing" of medical equipment and delays in admitting Covid patients in his constituency Bareilly, has added salt to the wound.
According to disgruntled leaders, vaccine production capacity should have been enhanced when there was time, but instead the government's "botched-up vaccination drive" tangled in rules and regulations.
Meanwhile, those in the government have strongly defended the Centre's Covid response. They say the perceived ill-preparedness was mainly because of zero warning about the magnitude of the second wave.
"It is a fact that the government was not prepared for the second wave but now all hands are on the deck," a minister quoted saying
"Despite public health being state subject, the Central government has been proactive in Covid management as a pandemic requires national-level coordination and substantial resources," Union Minister Prakash Javadekar has written in a column in The Indian Express.