LUCKNOW: Union minister Santosh Gangwar, MP Satyadev Pachauri, UP minister Brijesh Pathak, BJP MPs Kaushal Kishore and Rajendra Agarwal, MLAs Dinanath Bhaskar, Dalveer Singh, Lokendra Pratap Singh and Sanjay Pratap Jaiswal, MLC Rajkumar Agarwal…. the list goes on.
More and more BJP leaders are airing their resentment against the Yogi Adityanath government over its Covid management, rather mismanagement.
UP law minister Brijesh Pathak was the first to blow the lid off the state of affairs in the state when he wrote a letter to senior health officials, expressing his anguish on the stressed-out health facilities amid Covid surge last month.
In the one-page letter, Pathak, an MLA from Lucknow, lamented that he had received a frantic call from the residence of Yogesh Praveen, informing him that his condition was critical and needed an ambulance. However, the ambulance did not reach him and the historian died.
BJP MP Kaushal Kishore, who lost his elder brother to Covid, wrote to chief minister Yogi Adityanath, demanding action against Balarampur hospital and King George’s Medical University doctors who have been ‘ignoring’ patients. He claimed in his letter that ventilators were not in working condition in these hospitals.
In another instance, BJP MP from Meerut, Rajendra Agarwal wrote to Yogi Adityanath, complaining about inadequate arrangements, especially lack of medical oxygen in the city.
Rajendra Agarwal stated in his letter that both government and private hospitals in Meerut are staring at an acute shortage of medical oxygen.
Chairman of the Uttar Pradesh Labour Welfare Council, state minister Sunil Bharala, on the other hand, protested about the lack of beds, oxygen, and life-saving drugs in Meerut and asked chief minister Yogi Adityanath to directly intervene on behalf of Covid-19 patients.
BJP MLA from Badaun, Dharmendra Shakya, levelled serious allegations against the Badaun Medical College and sought a probe into the matter.
Another BJP MLA, Dinanath Bhaskar from Bhadohi, sent a letter to the chief minister seeking an inquiry into the circumstances that led to the death of a local BJP leader Lal Bahadur Maurya.
Bhaskar further said that the doctors were abusive and told the patient to get “Yogi Adityanath to treat you.”
The most disturbing case is that of BJP MLC Rajkumar Agarwal, who lost his son, Ashish, to Covid because the hospital did not allow him to give an oxygen cylinder to the patient who was gasping for breath.
Agarwal wrote letters, complaining against the hospital but no action has been taken till date.
Talking to IANS, one of the BJP lawmakers, who wrote a letter to the chief minister, said, “If we had not put our letters on the social media, no one would have even known about them. The chief minister’s office has not responded to even one letter. If this is the response to elected representatives, then we can understand the plight of the common man.”
He said further, “Our voters now taunt us and we are helpless. If our own kin have died without proper treatment – and the government is not even apologetic about it-you can imagine what happens to the people.”
A BJP legislator from a district adjoining Lucknow, said, “The situation is still explosive in the rural areas and the problem is that the chief minister depends on feedback from his Team 9. I have been seeking an appointment but have not got one yet. More people in my constituency are dying due to lack of treatment than of Covid. Even the death rate among non-Covid patients is escalating because all facilities for them have been shut out. Doctors are now demanding a negative Covid report before even treating fractures.”
A two-term BJP MP, meanwhile, said that elected representatives were facing massive public anger in their respective constituencies.
“The problem is that we are helpless because the bureaucracy does not listen to us. We have informed our leaders about the situation but no one is doing anything. We have to face public anger and I do not know how this will reflect in the upcoming assembly elections,” he said.
He added that the panchayat elections and the BJP’s poor performance in it were an indication of the things to come.
The deep disquiet in the BJP has now spread to its mentor organization, the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS).
A RSS functionary, admitted that this was the first time in seven years that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s image had been dented due to pandemic mismanagement.
“The middle class are the worst-hit – and now the virus is spreading to the villages. The pandemic could have an adverse impact on the poll outcome,” he confessed.
BJP spokesman Ashok Pandey, however, downplayed the situation.
“I admit that things were bad but now the chief minister is hitting the ground and setting things right. We have managed to control the situation and Covid is ebbing too,” he said.
A MLA, on the other hand , said, “The damage is irreparable. Those who have lost their family members to mismanagement, will not forget things in a hurry.”