Exclusive | Cong Didn’t Pay Heed, BJP Handled COVID Crisis: MP CM
The Quint’s Sanjay Pugalia speaks with Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

Exclusive | Cong Didn’t Pay Heed, BJP Handled COVID Crisis: MP CM

Madhya Pradesh features on the list of top five states with the most number of COVID-19 cases. When news and reports of the coronavirus outbreak began emerging from various parts of the country, MP was still in the midst of a major political imbroglio.

As Congress lost the plot in the state, BJP, by including Jyotiraditya Scindia in the party, formed the government in the state. Once again, Shivraj Singh Chouhan became the chief minister of Madhya Pradesh.

Fighting COVID-19 has been the main agenda ever since his government took charge in March. But businesses and shops have been shut, and the farmers have been hit hard too. How prepared is the MP government to deal with he situation?

The Quint's editorial director, Sanjay Pugalia, spoke to the chief minister regarding the state’s response to the pandemic.

“Madhya Pradesh government is working together to battle the pandemic. We have spoken to industrialists, and economists as well. Taking the economy into account, we have formed a team. Apart from that, we have also formed a team of industrialists, including Ravi Jhunjhunwala, Rajinder Gupta, and Michihiro Suzuki, to advice the government,” said Chouhan.

He added that the state has started taking steps to address the damage done to the economy. “We have allowed businesses to open in green zones, under certain conditions,” he stated.

(Illustration: The Quint)

Despite the coronavirus-induced crisis, over 40 lakh metric tonnes of wheat has been sold, he stated, in addition to a payment of Rs 3,171 crore to cover the damages.

To make sure that the labourers are getting work, the state has also started work in 22,070 gram panchayats under MNREGA.

Chouhan Slams Erstwhile Cong Govt

(Illustration: The Quint)

“All government officials were present in the city, not to stop the coronavirus, but for the IIFA event that was to be held,” he added.

Chouhan also talked about Indore, which has witnessed a huge spike in cases.

‘CAA Protesters Spread Coronavirus’

Chouhan has also blamed the spread of the virus on the CAA protesters.

(Illustration: The Quint)

Coming to the health infrastructure in the state, Chouhan said that the medical services in MP have always had a strong foundation.

COVID-19 testing has been taking place in around 13 labs in the state, he claimed. He added that the state has prepared and arranged tools and medicines lest there is a shortage in the state.

(Illustration: The Quint)

On Migrant Workers

“We have made arrangements to bring back the migrants stuck in other states. After speaking to various chief ministers, we decided to start special trains,” he stated.

(Illustration: The Quint)

Chouhan, who is hoping that the state will bounce back soon, stated that even though he has been working to fight the novel coronavirus ever since his government was formed, the expansion of his state cabinet is also underway and will be made official when decided upon.

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