New Delhi [India], April 21 (ANI): Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Manoj Jha on Wednesday hit out at the Centre for the deteriorating COVID-19 situation across the country, calling it an 'act of mismanagement'.
"Is it not true that you do not want to listen to the opposition? After elections, the ruling party and opposition should work together. Whenever there's criticism from the opposition, you ridicule them, and then hours later do the exact thing the opposition suggested," Jha told ANI.
"Look at the outcry on social media. Oxygen and other important medicines are not available. We have never felt more helpless in our lives. Someone is responsible for this. Should we just believe that this is an 'act of God'? This is not an act of god. This is an act of mismanagement, an act of lack of assessment and imagination," he added.
He said this in reference to finance minister Sitharaman's statement last year when she called the pandemic an 'act of god' and said there could be a contraction in the economy.
The RJD leader alleged that states like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar were underreporting actual COVID-19 cases.
"The alarming numbers we are seeing today are only the ones that are being reported. I know that in many states like Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, scams are happening in the name of testing. They are not testing because the scale at which the situation is deteriorating, things are almost out of our hands," he said.
He added that a big mistake made by the government was declaring victory over the coronavirus too soon.
"We declared victory over COVID-19 halfway through the journey. At least now, we need to change our perspective. We still have time. We need to get out of lockdowns and containment zones and make sure that maximum testing and tracking is happening," he said.
Reacting to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's address to the nation on Tuesday evening, where he urged states to only use lockdowns as the last option, Jha said, "Last time PM Modi made 'lockdown' the first option. We said from the start that lockdowns are not the solution to this pandemic."
He pushed for the constitution of a 'core team', consisting of members of the government, opposition, and experts to look beyond party lines and take steps to fight the pandemic. (ANI)