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Arvind Kejriwal regrets 'breaching protocol' during meeting with PM Modi on Covid situation Arvind Kejriwal
Image Credit: Arvind Kejriwal Facebook

Arvind Kejriwal regrets 'breaching protocol' during meeting with PM Modi on Covid situation

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 23 Apr 2021, 08:23 pm

New Delhi/IBNS: After facing flak for sharing a live telecast of an "in-house" meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the Covid situation, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal regretted the 'breach of protocol.'

In a virtual meeting that went live on television, Kejriwal told the Prime Minister in strong yet carefully chosen words, "There's a huge shortage of oxygen in Delhi. Will people of Delhi not get oxygen if there is no oxygen-producing plant here?"

However, his public appeal came under heavy criticism from the Centre for breaching protocol, promoting his office to express "regret" over the same.

During the meeting called by PM Modi to interact with CMs of 10 worst-affected states and union territories, Kejriwal said: "Please suggest whom should I speak to in Central Govt when an oxygen tanker destined for Delhi is stopped in another state."

Besides making an indirect reference to Haryana, which was accused of sitting on oxygen cylinders, Kejriwal urged Modi to facilitate the airlifting of oxygen from West Bengal and Odisha to resolve the gas crisis in the national capital.

"PM Sir, please, do make a phone call to the Chief Minister of the state where maximum trucks (tankers carrying oxygen) are being stopped so oxygen can reach Delhi," he said, besides calling for a national policy to tackle the second wave of the virus in India.

Though the Prime Minister said the process was underway, Kejriwal countered saying, "The oxygen cylinders are stopped from coming to Delhi, Sir."

However, PM Modi cut off the appeal midway and raised objection to the live telecast of an "in-house" meeting.

"Let me say something ... this is strictly against our tradition, our protocol that a chief minister is running a live telecast of an in-house meeting," the prime minister said.

"This is inappropriate and we must refrain from doing so," the PM added.

Kejriwal immediately apologised for the same and added that he would be careful in the furture.

But the incident didn't go well with the Centre as some lashed out at Kejriwal for breaching the protocol.

Immediately after Kejriwal's comment, Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) went left and right to slam the Delhi Chief Minister accusing the latter of playing politics over the crisis.

BJP IT cell head Amit Malviya tweeted, "Arvind Kejriwal is a disaster. He goes to a meeting with the Prime Minister unprepared. He has no idea about things that have already been put in place to ease oxygen supply in the capital, was uninformed on vaccine prices. How will he save Delhi? He is a disgrace as Delhi’s CM."

He added, "Oxygen plants are being set up in villages of Gujarat, while Arvind Kejriwal keeps crying on Twitter! Does Delhi want such a helpless Chief Minister?"

BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra tweeted, "Stooping this low for petty politics? Makes all arrangements to televise an otherwise close door meeting.. tries to score political brownie points! If only he had spent the same amount of time doing his homework! Last time the same man ..in the same meeting was yawning & laughing."