Gujarat Congress to move HC over BJP’s “criminal negligence” in organizing ‘Namaste Trump’ event

A week’s lockdown has been announced in Ahmedabad and Surat seeing the spike in cases

Namaste Trumph

Alleging that the ‘Namaste Trump’ event organized by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Gujarat, was responsible for the spread of the Covid-19 infection there, the Gujarat Congress has said that it will drag the state government to the High Court over its “criminal negligence”.

In a video, state Congress President Amit Chavda said that his party would launch an independent probe in the matter by assigning a Special Investigation Team (SIT) and soon move the Gujarat High Court against the government.



The Congress has alleged that it will petition in the High Court for a probe against the state government, Donald Trump Abhivadan Samiti and Gujarat Cricket Association as due to the event, lakhs of people assembled in the Motera stadium and social distancing norms were violated resulting in “community transmission of Coronavirus, due to which Gujarat state has ranked as the second-highest infected state in the country.”

He said, “On February 24, US president Donald Trump had arrived in Ahmedabad with a huge number of security staff and delegation. Lots of other foreigners had also come. No medical check-up or screening was done of the foreign citizens. In one stadium, lakhs of people were brought in, while lakhs others were made to stand all throughout the route of Trump’s visit. There was violation of the norms of social distancing laid down by the World Health Organisation, and medical negligence as well.”

He also said that the BJP state government ignored all the warnings by the World Health Organization (WHO) and still went ahead with the event on February 24, thus putting millions of lives at risk. On January 30, the WHO had said that the “outbreak constituted a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHIEC).”

Chavda alleged, “On January 30, the WHO had declared a health emergency across the world. On January 31, even the United States had declared a health emergency in their country. On February 7, the Union health minister spoke in Parliament on Covid-19. Yet, after all this, the programme was given the green signal.”

Gujarat had reported the first coronavirus cases on March 20, after a man from Rajkot and a woman from Surat tested positive for the disease.

However, Gujarat BJP spokesperson Prashant Vala termed the allegations as baseless. NDTV reported him as saying, “Amit Chavda needs to understand that before Trump visits any country, a US team conducts a thorough inspection of the areas well in advance to ensure there are no security and health related risks, such as viral infection. Without such clearance, Trump never visits any country.”

He also said that Covid-19 was not declared a pandemic by WHO when the ‘Namaste Trump’ event took place. The event took place on February 24, and WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic on March 11, he said. Vala alleged that Chavda was just muckraking as a part of vote bank politics.

Current Covid-19 situation in Gujarat

After Covid-19 cases surged to 6,669 in Gujarat after 382 new cases being reported on Wednesday, April 6 and 291 of them being from Ahmedabad alone, the civic authorities of Ahmedabad and Surat decided to close all shops, except those selling milk and medicines for a week. The order which is to come into effect from the midnight of May 7 in Ahmedabad and Saturday in Surat, triggered a lot of panic buying of grocery items and vegetables by the citizens, reported The Indian Express.

Additional Chief Secretary Rajiv Kumar Gupta, who was made the in-charge of Ahmedabad city on Tuesday held a meeting with officials of the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) and issued an order saying: “All those working in shops like vegetables, fruit, grocery, provisions, supermarkets, ice cream parlours and people engaged in home delivery of these items as well as Swiggy, Zomato, Dominos and others become potent sources of infection for many. Therefore in the entire AMC area, all shops and home delivery services except milk and medicine shall remain closed for seven days starting from May 7.”



Surat Municipal Corporation in its order said, “Agricultural produce market committee markets, vegetable markets in all zones designated for farmers, independent vegetable stalls, fruit shops and sale of vegetables and fruits through any mode is prohibited from May 9 to May 14.” Branches of all banks, except ATMs will also remain closed in the red zones till further notice.

It was also reported that the state government had decided to suspend the distribution of free foodgrains for APL-1 ration card holders in Ahmedabad city. The distribution which was to start on Thursday has now been postponed to after the new dates being released.

The order from the lockdown came after an order from in-charge municipal commissioner Mukesh Kumar under Rule 11 of the Epidemic Diseases Act, for “effective implementation of social distancing and to minimise crowding to reduce the spread of infection in the city of Ahmedabad”.

Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani wrote to Union Home Minister Amit Shah requesting a visit from the country’s “top three doctors” to guide those at the Ahmedabad Civil Hospital on the best available treatments.

CM Rupani also suggested that Randeep Guleria, director of AIIMS Delhi, Dr Rajesh Chawla of Apollo Hospital, New Delhi and Mumbai-based pulmonologist Dr Rohit Pandit be sent for a day at the designated COVID hospital on Ahmedabad Civil Hospital campus, in a bid “to better direct the state and the doctors as well as the medical teams at Civil Hospital to reduce the high death rate while improving its rate of discharge”.

As many as 27 people succumbed to the virus in the state on Wednesday — 25 of the deaths were from Ahmedabad.

Currently, Ahmedabad accounts for over 70 percent of the Covid-19 cases in Gujarat.



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