THOUGH UTTAR Pradesh Health Minister Sidharth Nath Singh is not new to facing media, he is getting the real taste of media glare while handling the Gorakhpur tragedy. Before joining UP government in March, Singh, as BJP national secretary, was one of the most articulate faces in the media, attacking the UPA and other political rivals. But defending the state government against a volley of probing questions on the Gorakhpur tragedy has made him realise what it means to be on the other side of public perception. Incidentally, the medical college and hospital at Gorakhpur does not come under his direct administrative control. It is looked after by the minister for medical education in the Yogi Adityanath government. But as the state health minister, Singh, obviously, has to share the criticism.
Cracking the whip
WHILE SUSPENSION of the principal of the Gorakhpur medical college on Saturday was seen as an attempt to show the Adityanath government’s seriousness over the deaths there, there are others who are disputing it. Reason: Adityanath suspended 11 officers and transferred several others for relatively less laxity in neighbouring Maharajganj district as compared to the lapses that led to the deaths of more than 60 children at the Gorakhpur medical college. While he cracked the whip in Maharajganj on August 10, the lapses at the medical college took lives of many children the same day.
Election commissioner O P Rawat had recused himself from hearing all AAP matters this year following Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s allegation that Rawat and his colleague A K Joti were biased. With Nasim Zaidi’s retirement as Chief Election Commissioner last month, there are only two commissioners running the EC. Rawat’s recusal leaves only Joti to further hear the AAP’s office-of-profit case. In this scenario, pending appointment of another Election Commissioner by the government, Rawat is learnt to have offered his assistance to Joti, in case the latter feels too bogged down by the case.