Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal got into a minor fracas during the Union government’s video conference with Chief Ministers of States with a high COVID-19 burden, after the CM livestreamed his interjections at the meeting.
Kejriwal, during his interjection at the meeting, while calling for help from the Centre for fulfilling the rising oxygen requirements of hospitals in Delhi, livestreamed his remarks, which Modi objected to as it was happening, saying it went against the protocol of such closed door meetings. At this, Kejriwal said that he would not make such a mistake again.
Sources in the government said that Kejriwal’s actions were aimed at politicising the meeting to give the impression that the Centre was being heavy-handed with the States.
“Arvind Kejriwal did much of this for political effect. He spoke of airlifting oxygen tankers, which is already being done, spoke of the Railways providing ‘Oxygen Express’ trains, which, as the Railway Ministry said, the Delhi government hadn’t gotten in touch with them about, and he basically did not give a single constructive solution, unlike other Chief Ministers who did,” said a source in the government.
Kejriwal’s office, however, provided a statement explaining his version of events. “Today, the chief minister’s address was shared live because there has never been any instruction, written or verbal, from the central government that the said interaction could not be shared live. 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 it,” the statement said.