The opposition AIADMK in Tamil Nadu on Thursday questioned the DMK government's assertion that there was no oxygen-shortage-related death in the state during the second Covid-19 wave, saying Chief Minister M K Stalin had stated otherwise in May.
Referring to Minister for Medical and Family Welfare Ma Subramanian's statement on Wednesday that Tamil Nadu recorded no such deaths, AIADMK coordinator O Panneerselvam said it amounted to completely concealing the truth.
Recalling Stalin's letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on May 7, hours after the DMK leader was sworn-in as CM, Panneerselvam recalled he had sought increased allocation of oxygen to the state in view of the demand.
The chief minister had then said "the availability of oxygen in Tamil Nadu is very critical and there was an unfortunate incident of 13 deaths at Chengalpattu (government hospital) two days ago," Panneerselvam recalled.
"The contradiction, when the CM's letter is compared to what the Health Minister said, is apparent. Now there is apprehension if all the data issued by the government is like this," the former chief minister said in a statement.
"The Tamil Nadu government has a responsibility to clarify whether the CM's remarks in a letter to the Prime Minister are true or that of the Minister's," he demanded.
Stalin should look into the matter and tell the people the factual situation, he added.
On Wednesday, Subramanian had said that "In Tamil Nadu, no one succumbed to the virus due to shortage of oxygen. That is the truth. There was a strong (COVID-19) regulation in place."
Panneerselvam further said the Centre's statement in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday that there were no deaths in the country during the Covid second wave due to shortage of oxygen, was based on states' inputs to the Union government and that there was "nothing to find fault" with it, although the Congress and AAP have criticised it.