The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Punjab on Saturday accused the Congress government in Punjab of embezzling crores of rupees in the procurement of 50,000 COVID care kits and wrote to CM Amarinder Singh seeking a timely inquiry into the 'scam'. Reacting to AAP MLA Aman Arora's allegations, Captain Amarinder Singh on Saturday ridiculed the AAP for seeing a scam in the procurement of COVID Care Kits even before the kits were procured by the state government.
"In their desperation to attack the government in Punjab they seem to have lost all sense of proportion," CMO said in a statement. The CM further pointed out that Arora's allegations came even before the tender for procurement of the kits was finalised by the state's health department, pointing out that Punjab government finalised the cost at Rs 748 per kit with additional GST of Rs 360 for Pulse Oximeter.
As per the release, the Captain Amarinder Singh pointed out that the AAP MLA based his allegation on a rate list which actually listed only 13 items as against the 16 that are being procured by the state government. His list did not mention Capsule Vitamin D, Betadine gargles, and balloons, while sanitiser listed by him was of 100 ML in comparison with the 500 ML sanitiser that is being included in the government kit.
"Terming Arora's scam allegation preposterous, the Chief Minister said by alleging a scam in procurement that had not even taken place, the AAP MLA had exposed the party's strategy of unleashing baseless negative propaganda against his government," it added. Further slamming the AAP MLA, the release quoted the CM as saying, "You have shown that you will stoop to any level to further your political agenda in Punjab, going to the extent of making totally unsubstantiated and false allegations against my government," he remarked, adding that the people of Punjab will not be taken in by these theatrics and false campaigns of AAP."
The AAP leader had issued a statement alleging that there was a direct scam of Rs 4 crore in the procurement of Rs 8.5 crore.
Letter2 @capt_amarinder g,requesting&cautioning him in advance 2prevent a scam in d making,in the name of 50000Covid Care Kits as all items in the Kit r available in market at Rs943 agnst Govt purchase cost of Rs1700,thereby leading2a scam of around 4Cr agnst total order of 8.5Cr pic.twitter.com/L6XcjaD6vT— Aman Arora (@AroraAmanSunam) September 11, 2020
Meanwhile, the death toll due to COVID-19 rose to 2,288 with 76 more fatalities in Punjab, while the infection tally climbed to 77,057 with 2,441 fresh cases on Saturday, according to a medical bulletin.
(With agency inputs)