The UP Congress today termed the infant deaths in a Gorakhpur hospital "murder" and demanded resignation of Chief Minister, saying if he was unable to handle an institution, how will he run the state, prompting rebuttal from Yogi Adityanath and the state health minister.
The CM attacked the Congress, saying it was not the time to indulge in politics but to show some sensitivity. State Health minister Siddhartha Nath Singh, while slamming the Congress said in politics, the Opposition's job is not only to just criticise, but do so in a constructive manner.
Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee chief Raj Babbar, addressing a press conference said, "70 children were murdered in the last four days (since August 10). The state government is responsible for their murder. This government is a killer and I want to ask how many more children will be killed".
"When a chief minister is unable to handle a medical college in his home district, how would he run the state? He should immediately resign from his post," he told reporters while attacking Adityanath. In Gorakhpur, the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister said that the Congress should show some sensitivity in finding ways to eradicate the vector-borne diseases.
"When Ghulam Nabi Azad was the Union health minister, he had said that he cannot do anything, since health is a state subject. The people whose sensitivity has died are now unnecessarily rubbing salt in the wounds by raising a sensitive issue. I have come here to find a solution to the issue, else otherwise I would had not made frequent trips to this place," he told reporters.
Babbar demanded a compensation of Rs 1 crore each for the victim's parents and said a case of murder should be lodged against those who are found guilty. He said the Congress would run a state-wide campaign on the issue but did not disclose the date when it would start.
He hailed the media for the "unbiased reporting" on the issue and said, "Who will decide it was death or murder? The entire focus of the government is on cow-slaughter, singing of Vande Matram, where the flag is being hoisted on August 15". The Congress leader said that under the UPA government, Rs 150 crore was given to the BRD medical college hospital and a 100-bed ward was also constructed.
"The chief minister had visited the hospital, but he was not aware about the oxygen crisis. The CM has constituted a probe committee but the government has already said that deaths were not due to shortage of oxygen. Then why a probe?" the UPCC president said.
He also slammed state Health minister Siddhartha Nath Singh for terming infant deaths in August as "routine". Referring to the statement of a BJP MP that the incident was "massacre", Babbar said, "A case of murder should be lodged against the government and those associated with it". When contacted, Singh said that in politics, the Opposition's job is not to just criticise, but also come up with constructive criticism.
"The Congress, however, lacks that conviction as they have remained clueless in the area of governance. The health sector needs huge improvement and we are committed to it unlike the Congress which had neglected the sector, otherwise the battle against the Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) would have been won long back," he added.
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