PANAJI: Aam Aadmi Party has said the ongoing oxygen issue comes down to only one thing – Goa does not have enough oxygen, and CM Sawant does not have enough guts. Stating that AAP has maintained from the beginning that the ONLY way out of the oxygen crisis is for the Sawant Govt to raise an SOS with the Modi Govt to increase Goa’s quota, State Convenor Rahul Mhambre said that the continued hesitation by the Goa CM to do so, is nothing short of cowardice and sycophancy.
“Goa does not produce its own oxygen and relies entirely on neighbouring states. Oxygen distribution between states is under the complete control of the Central Govt, so the shortage of oxygen in Goa is a direct failure of the Modi Govt. Sawant is completely avoiding raising an SOS with the Centre as he does not want to expose this failure, for the sole reason that it would embarrass Modi-ji. And this cowardice by the CM is the main reason that Goans are needlessly dying in Goa’s hospitals”, he said.
Mhambre said that despite the High Court proceedings reconfirming what AAP had been saying all along, the oxygen shortage has still not been addressed.
“Last night, despite the Hon. High Court’s structures, the oxygen levels dipped to dangerous levels yet again in not one but multiple covid wards of GMC. This shows that everyone from the GMC Dean to the Health Secretary to the Heath Minister to the Chief Minister are only passing the buck. The obvious fact that no one is admitting, is that there is simply not enough oxygen reaching Goa as per its requirement, so all this conversation about cylinders, trolleys, tanks etc is of no consequence until the CM demands and obtains more oxygen from the Centre”, Mhambre said.
Mhambre warned that even though the matter is in court, the officials and ministers could drag the proceedings to days and weeks in order to evade responsibility. Pointing out a similar sequence of events that happened in the Supreme Court when the AAP Govt of Delhi tried to get its required oxygen quota from the Central Govt, Mhambre said that more than two weeks of high courtroom drama was witnessed before the Hon. Supreme Court finally pinned the responsibility on the Modi Govt and stopped listening to its excuses and evasions.
“Do we want to wait for two more weeks while hundreds more Goans die? Let the court proceedings continue, but why doesn’t CM Sawant have the courage to raise an SOS with the Centre right away? If he is shy to learn from Arvind Kejriwal, then Sawant should at least see how his fellow BJP CM Yedyurappa strongly and consistently raised the oxygen shortage issue with PM Modi until the Centre increased Karnataka’s quota from 300 MT to 1200 MT,” he stated.
Mhambre expressed frustration that, instead of fighting for Goans and increasing Goa’s quota, Sawant is committing to send oxygen to other states. Mhambre said since oxygen distribution is controlled by the centre, Sawant had no authority to make such a commitment. Mhambre claimed that this only proves that just like the Mhadei or Coal or Mollem issues, the BJP high command had yet again forced Sawant to compromise Goa’s interests over its own agendas.