In face of the BJP's accusation of "criminal negligence" citing a report that the Delhi government "exaggerated" oxygen requirement during COVID-19 second wave, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday said his only "crime" was that he "fought for the breath of two crore people".
He also said that those who lost their loved ones due to the shortage of oxygen should not be called "liars".
A sub-group constituted by the Supreme Court to audit oxygen consumption in the national capital's hospitals has said that the Delhi government "exaggerated" consumption of the life-saving gas.
The five-member panel, headed by AIIMS director Randeep Guleria, said that during the second wave of COVID-19infections, the Delhi government had made claims for allocation of 700 MT of oxygen on April 30 using a "wrong formula".
After the report came to light, the BJP accused Kejriwal of "heinous crime" and "criminal negligence". In reply to the allegation, Kejriwal took to Twitter to say, "My crime -- I fought for the breath of my two crore people. When you were doing an election rally, I was awake all night arranging for oxygen. I fought, pleaded to get oxygen for people."
"People have lost their loved ones due to lack of oxygen. Don't call them liars, they are feeling so bad," he said in a tweet in Hindi.
BJP leaders, including East Delhi MP Gautam Gambhir and former Delhi minister Kapil Mishra have slammed the Delhi government over the issue and demanded an apology over what they call is "criminal negligence". BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra termed it a "heinous crime".
"Imagine the amount of criminality. This is a heinous crime by Arvind Kejriwal. This is criminal negligence as the panel says he sought four times more oxygen than required. The report has exposed the politics he did to shift blame from his incompetence and failure to deal with COVID-19," Patra said.
First Published: IST