New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: During a meeting of Prime Minister Narendra Modi with the chief ministers of 10 states with the most number of COVID-19 cases, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal highlighted the issue of oxygen crisis at hospitals in the national capital. 

"There's a huge shortage of oxygen in Delhi. Will people of Delhi not get oxygen if there is no oxygen-producing plant here? Please suggest whom should I speak to in Central Govt when an oxygen tanker destined for Delhi is stopped in another state," Kewjrial said during the meeting with the prime minister. 

"I request with folded hands that PM gives direction to CMs to ensure smooth movement of oxygen tankers coming to Delhi," he said at the high-level meeting which was live on television.

Highlighting the oxygen shortage issue, Kejriwal said he "requests with folded hands that PM gives direction to CMs to ensure smooth movement of oxygen tankers coming to Delhi."

"We fear big tragedy may happen due to lack of oxygen for patients, national plan needed to deal with situation," he said, adding that the Centre should take over all oxygen plants with the help of Army and every truck be accompanied with Army vehicle. 

However, Kejriwal faced flak when he went ahead with the live telecast of his address during the meeting. 

News agency ANI quoted government sources saying that Kejriwal had "descended to a new low" as the private conversation between the prime minister and chief ministers was not meant to be televised.  

"Delhi CM Kejriwal used the PM-CM conference on Covid as a platform to play politics. Govt sources say he chose to spread lies on vaccine prices despite knowing that Centre does not keep one vaccine dose with itself and shares with states only," government sources were quoted by ANI as saying. 

"Kejriwal has descended to a new low. For the first time, private conversations of PMs meeting with CM was televised. His entire speech was not meant for any solution but for playing politics and evade responsibility," they added. 

The sources also said that Kejriwal raised the issue point of airlifting oxygen while it was already being done by the government. "He spoke about Oxygen express by Railways but Railway sources say that he has not communicated anything about it to Railways," they said. 

Responding to this, the Delhi CM Office said the interaction was telecasted live because there was no written or verbal communication from the central government that the same should not be done. 

"Today, the CM address was shared live because there has never been any instruction, written or verbal, from central govt that the said interaction could not be shared live," the Delhi CMO said. 

"There have been multiple occasions of similar interactions where matters of public importance which had no confidential information were shared live. However, if any inconvenience was caused we highly regret that," it added. 

The meeting via video conferencing comes amid a huge surge in coronavirus cases, which have now clocked a daily total of over 3 lakh in the country.

Chief ministers of Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Delhi are among those who attended the meeting.

PM Modi will hold a meeting with leading oxygen manufacturers in the country via video conference amid concerns expressed by some states that their supply of the life-saving gas is running short with a number of hospitals sending out SOS.

Posted By: Abhinav Gupta