Political parties should forget their differences and join hands in the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic in Delhi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said on Monday after chairing an all-party meet.

Leaders of the BJP, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), the Congress and the BSP attended the meeting with the Home Minister, who had on Sunday announced a slew of measures, including ramping up of testing facilities, after holding discussions with the Delhi government and the civic bodies on the coronavirus crisis.

Pitching for political unity to inspire confidence among the people, Shah appealed to the representatives of the four parties to urge their workers to ensure implementation of the Delhi government’s coronavirus guidelines on the ground.

These steps will enhance public trust and the COVID-19 situation in Delhi will improve soon, Shah said.

All parties should forget their political differences and work together for the people of Delhi, he was quoted as saying in the meeting by a home ministry spokesperson.

Shah briefed the parties about the decisions taken by the government after he held two separate meetings with Delhi LG Anil Baijal, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan and the mayors and commissioners of Delhi’s three municipal corporations to strengthen the strategy to fight the coronavirus on Sunday.

There have been frequent run-ins between the LG and the Kejriwal government, which has accused him of acting at the behest of the BJP-led central government.

“Shah called on the parties to mobilise their party workers to help implement the decisions taken by the central government for the welfare of the people of Delhi,” the spokesperson said.

“He appealed all the parties to rise above political differences in the interest of the people. Political unity will create confidence among the public and lead to improvement in the pandemic situation in the capital,” he said.

Shah said, “We all have to stand united under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in this fight against the pandemic.”

The home minister said COVID-19 testing in Delhi has to be increased by adopting new techniques.

The meetings have been held in the wake of a spurt in novel coronavirus cases in the national capital.

After the Sunday meeting, Shah had announced that COVID-19 tests would be started at every polling station in the containment zones and a comprehensive house-to-house health survey would be conducted in the hotspots for contact tracing.

He had said testing for coronavirus will be doubled in Delhi over the next two days and subsequently tripled.

In view of a shortage of beds for coronavirus patients in Delhi, the Modi government has decided to immediately provide 500 railway coaches, which will be equipped with all facilities, Shah had said.

The pandemic has infected over 41,000 in the national capital so far and claimed more than 1,300 lives. 

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