New Delhi [India], April 19 (ANI): Noting that the union government is working round-the-clock to support states in COVID-19 management, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said the government has been fighting a battle against the disease without any discrimination and "politics should not be done on the issue".
In an interview with ANI, he also said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is working for 18-19 hours a day and after returning from the campaign in West Bengal, he reviewed the situation of the pandemic in India.
In an apparent reference to remarks of Congress President Sonia Gandhi and some leaders of NCP over the COVID-19 situation, Goyal said he felt bad at attempts to give political colour to the issue.
"Politics should not be played over this (COVID management). The central government has been fighting a battle against COVID-19 without any discrimination. I felt bad when some people and a prominent political party tried to give political colours to the issue," Goyal said.
He said after an elaborate meeting with 12 worst-affected states and union territories, the central government did mapping on medical oxygen requirements.
He said 6,177 metric tonnes of oxygen has been finalized to be distributed to states and Maharashtra will get the biggest share of 1,500 metric tonnes of oxygen.
"The Centre is working round-the-clock to support the state government in COVID management. Prime Minister is working for 18-19 hours. After returning from the campaign, he reviewed the situation of the pandemic in India. He called me at 1 am (yesterday) to take details of the situation," Goyal said.
Goyal who is also Railway Minister took a veiled dig at opposition parties and said "the leader who is unable to run government efficiently needs to worry about presenting their work".
The minister said a green corridor is being created for the fast movement of Oxygen Express Trains to facilities for the smooth transport of oxygen to states.
Sonia Gandhi had on Saturday accused the BJP-led government of "preferential treatment" to some states. She said in her opening remarks at the meeting of the Congress Working Committee that some of party chief ministers have written to the Centre seeking relief.
Maharashtra Minister and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Nawab Malik, had in a tweet on Saturday, called upon Goyal to tell how much oxygen is produced in our country and how much oxygen has been given to Maharashtra.
Maharashtra is the worst affected state by coronavirus in the country. India reported its highest-ever single-day spike of COVID-19 cases with 2,61,500 new COVID-19 cases and 1,501 deaths in the last 24 hours. (ANI)