Oxygen shortage led to 28 deaths: Siddaramaiah

Accusing Health Minister K. Sudhakar of lying to the people that only three persons had died in Chamarajanagar, former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Tuesday claimed that a total of 28 persons had died due to non-availability of oxygen in the district last Sunday and early Monday.

Mr. Siddaramaiah, who arrived in Chamarajanagar on Tuesday and visited the district hospital along with Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president D.K. Shivakumar, told reporters though there was sufficient information in advance that a second wave would come, the State government remained negligent, leading to the tragic deaths.

He demanded a compensation of ₹25 lakh to the next of kin of each of the victims. He pointed out that 14 of the dead were youth and their families had been thrown to the streets after their deaths. Earlier, he held meeting with the district administration officials.

Later, speaking to the relatives of the victims, Mr. Siddaramaiah said the Minister claimed only three had died due to oxygen shortage and rest due to COVID-19. “But during our cross-examination with officials, we have learnt that all of them died due to oxygen shortage,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mr. Shivakumar accused the State government of ‘murder’ and said the Congress was particular that a judicial probe should be held in the matter.

CM’s response

Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa, responding to Mr. Siddaramaiah’s demand for his resignation, on Tuesday said, “He has always asked my resignation. It is his duty as the Leader of the Opposition. I urge him to give suggestions as resignations will not help.”


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