Congress seeks ‘unconditional apology’ from Harsh Vardhan over his comments

Hitting back at BJP`s Harsh Vardhan, Congress sought "unconditional apology" from him for his comments that Delhi had been in ICU for the last 15 years, saying the remarks were insulting to Delhiites.

New Delhi: Hitting back at Harsh Vardhan, the BJP Chief Ministerial candidate for Delhi, Congress on Friday sought an "unconditional apology" from him for his comments that Delhi had been in ICU for the last 15 years, saying the remarks were insulting to the people of the city.
Taking strong exception to Vardhan`s comments yesterday, senior Delhi Congress leader Mukesh Sharma said people of the city had put BJP in the ICU in the 1998 Assembly polls following its five-year-long "misrule".

There is "no-symptom" of the party coming out of it, he added.

"How can you say the city is in ICU when Delhi is considered one of the major cities of the world. The city has witnessed significant transformation in the last 15 years. Vardhan`s comments are insulting to the people of Delhi and he must tender an unconditional apology for it," four-time MLA, Sharma, said.

At a press conference, Vardhan had accused the Congress government of "piling up miseries" on the people and putting Delhi in the "intensive care unit" by its "misrule".

Ridiculing Vardhan`s comments that the city needs a "healing touch" from BJP, Sharma, who is also Parliamentary Secretary to Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, claimed the party will require "ventilator support" after the elections as people were going to reject it.

"BJP was put in ICU by people of Delhi in 1998. After the Assembly elections, it will need ventilator support. People of Delhi still remember its misrule. There was violence on the streets due to power cuts. So many people died in hooch tragedies. A number of people lost their lives due to an outbreak of dropsy," he said.

Sharma said naming of Vardhan as BJP`s Chief Ministerial candidate would help Congress as he was not considered a "strong leader".

"As Health Minister, how many hospitals did he set up. What was his contribution towards addressing major challenges facing the city," asked Sharma.

On Vardhan`s allegation of widespread corruption in Delhi government and his promise of bringing in radical reforms, Sharma wondered as to why he was not doing anything to contain graft in the BJP-ruled municipal corporations.

"The municipal corporations ruled by BJP are known as the most corrupt bodies. People are really fed up with graft- ridden municipalities. What has he done to address corruption there," asked Sharma.

The senior Congress leader also blamed municipal bodies for a number of deaths due to dengue, saying that the civic agencies had totally failed to contain the breeding of dengue -causing mosquitoes.

He also posed 15 questions for Vardhan over a range of issues, asking him what his contribution was in addressing various challenges facing the city when he was a minister between 1993-98.