The issue of death of six newborn babies took a political turn on Monday when Ludhiana MP Ravneet Singh Bittu stated that he would raise this question during zero hour in Parliament on Tuesday.
Bittu said that the government would be asked why the hospitals were not being upgraded and if funds were being sent, why they were not being spent properly to ensure facilities for patients. He also questioned the callous attitude of doctors.
Bittu’s was not the only voice raised in protest; different political parties protested against the incident as well. While the Congress sat on a day-long dharna along with their Mahila Congress unit outside the mother and child hospital (MCH), the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) staged a protest outside the circuit house where Health Minister Surjit Kumar Jayani had come. It was hard time for Jayani as he was gheraoed for some time by the AAP protesters at the circuit house. He had to go to MCH, where the Congress team was already sitting on a dharna. He finally went to the civil hospital amid AAP sloganeering demanding his resignation. He faced the same protest outside MCH as well.
Earlier in the day, Congress district unit members entered the room of senior medical officer where secretary health Vikas Garg and director health services Dr Jatinder Kaur had been sitting. They started raising slogans against the government. They were pacified by Garg and Dr Kaur. Later, they demanded compensation for the affected families and strict action against culprits.
Leena Taparia, from district mahila wing, stated that in case facilities were not available and doctors were not serious enough to perform duties, the hospital should be locked. Gurpreet Gogi, president of the district Congress wing, MLAs Surinder Dawar Bharat Bhushan Ashu and many others were seen at the civil hospital.
While the CPI’s district unit protested against this incident, the Association for Democratic Rights, an NGO, stated that their own fact-finding committee would be probing the reasons behind the deaths of babies.