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Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar’s remark over COVID-19 data sparks row, says arguing over numbers won’t bring back the dead

New Delhi: Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has stirred controversy after he said that arguing over the number of COVID-19-related deaths ‘won’t bring back the dead’.

The Bharatiya Janata Party leader said that the focus should be on helping those suffering now. Khattar was replying to questions on the alleged under-reporting of coronavirus deaths.

“The kind of difficult situation we are going through, we don’t have to play with data. Our entire focus should be on how people will recover and how we can provide them relief,” PTI quoted him as saying on Monday (April 26, 2021).

“And those who have died will not come back by creating a furore over it,” he said and added that there was no point in getting into a debate on whether the official number of deaths was correct.

Khattar had visited Rohtak, Panipat, Hisar and Faridabad to review the supply of oxygen and other facilities for COVID patients.

“We will do everything possible so that lives are saved. Whether the deaths are less or more, there is no point getting into this debate,” he said.

“Whether we are able to set the systems right is the question. From our side, we are setting the systems in place,” he added.

Khattar said nobody had expected this kind of situation.

“Who knew this pandemic will come, neither you knew nor we. To fight this, we need everyone’s cooperation including yours, mine, the patients’.

Therefore, these issues should not be the topic of any controversy,” he added.

Following Khattar’s remarks, Congress slammed Haryana CM and said that ‘these can only be the words of a merciless ruler’.

Congress’ general secretary Randeep Singh Surjewala said, “There is a need to make a noise over every death which is the result of the government’s inefficiency, so that the deaf BJP government can hear the echo.”

Congress MLA Kuldeep Bishnoi also condemned the CM’s comment and said that the ‘remarks are shameful’.

Meanwhile, Haryana recorded its biggest single-day jump in coronavirus-related fatalities and cases on Tuesday. While 84 fatalities took the cumulative toll in the state to 3,926, close to 12,000 fresh infections pushed the total caseload to 4,47,754.