Senior Maharashtra Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan on Saturday accused the Centre of “discrimination on the basis of politics” in the distribution of critical medical equipment such as PPE kits, N95 masks and ventilators to various states.
In a statement issued here, the former chief minister said information from the Centre itself confirmed this politically biased distribution, adding that Maharashtra, despite having the highest COVID-19 caseload, was facing step-motherly treatment.
The Centre’s reply to a starred question in the Lok Sabha on February 12 on distribution of medical equipments revealed a shocking picture, Chavan said.
“Gujarat got 9,623 numbers of N95 masks per thousand COVID-19 patients as compared to Maharashtra, which got 1,560 masks per thousand patients. Even UP got 3,916 N95 masks, more than twice that of Maharashtra. In PPE kits, Gujarat got 4,951 kits per thousand, and UP got 2,446 kits while Maharashtra got just 223 kits,” he said quoting the Centre’s reply in the Lok Sabha.
Gujarat was given 13 ventilators per 1000 patients, UP got seven while Maharashtra got only two ventilators per thousand COVID-19 patients, with Kerala getting even less than Maharashtra on a per thousand patient basis, he said.
“As per the Lok Sabha reply, in all categories, Gujarat was given the lion’s share of supply of medical equipment, which is disproportionate to the caseload. What is this if not discrimination based on politics,” he alleged.
Chavan said Narendra Modi was forgetting that he was the prime minister of the entire country and not just Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and some BJP-ruled states.