Parliament proceedings | Growing evidence that COVID-19 emerged from PLA lab, says BJP MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar

‘As loss is for the whole country, States have to share the economic cost of the crisis’

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar on Thursday said in the Rajya Sabha that there was growing evidence that the COVID-19 virus had originated from a laboratory of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and that States would have to share the economic cost of the crisis unless China accepts its responsibility.

Also read: Parliament proceedings | COVID-19 claimed lives of 32 Army, 3 IAF personnel

Mr. Chandrasekhar was speaking during the discussion on the COVID-19 pandemic and the government’s response to it.

“This virus originated in China of which there is no doubt. The bizarre conduct of the Chinese government for most of 2020 confirms that. The Chinese Government response is that it originated from a wet market in Wuhan from some bats but there are other reports that contradict that. There is growing evidence that this COVID-19 virus may have been a deliberate manmade laboratory creation in one of the Chinese PLA labs, a revelation, most recently, by Dr. Li-Meng Yan, who has recently fled to the U.S,” he said.

Later in his speech, he responded to the Opposition’s criticism that the government had not acted quickly enough.

“There was reference to chronology and I just want to briefly touch on some issues of chronology to make a very important point. The virus started in November 2019 in Wuhan. The Chinese authorities reported it to the WHO (World Health Organization) only on December 31 after a full one-and-a-half months for this to have an unfettered spread,” he said.

Also read: Coronavirus | Pompeo says ‘significant’ evidence virus emerged from Chinese lab

While honouring those fighting against the coronavirus, he termed it the “China virus”. Mr. Chandrasekhar responded to Opposition MPs’ demand that the Centre give States financial help to tide over the crisis by suggesting that the cost should be borne by the whole country.

“The difference is this, when States have losses due to floods and droughts, the Centre steps in. But, this loss is for the entire country and the whole country needs to bear this. There is no one else to forward these losses to. There is nobody else. Unless, maybe China accepts their responsibility and there is a case for reparation,” he said.

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