Gorakhpur hospital deaths: Opposition parties target Yogi Adityanath govt, say heads must roll, CM should quit

Gorakhpur hospital deaths: Holding the UP government “responsible” for the deaths, the Congress demanded the resignation of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Health Minister Sidharth Nath Singh. The SP and BSP, meanwhile, demanded a high-level inquiry into the incident while accusing the government of “gross criminal negligence”.

Written by Maulshree Seth , RAMENDRA SINGH | Gorakhpur | Lucknow | Published:August 13, 2017 3:46 am
Gorakhpur, gorakhpur deaths, gorakhpur hospital deaths, Yogi Adityanath, Ghulam nabi azad,gorakhpur hospital tragedy, gorakhpur encephalitis, gorakhpur brd medical college, Uttar pradesh Gorakhpur hospital deaths: Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and Raj Babbar outside the hospital on Saturday. (Source: Express photo by Vishal Srivastav)

Ward 100 of Gorakhpur’s Baba Raghav Das Medical College Hospital, where at least 60 children died in the last five days, was the scene of hectic political activity on Saturday with Opposition parties making a beeline for the building housing the paediatrics department.

Holding the UP government “responsible” for the deaths, the Congress demanded the resignation of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Health Minister Sidharth Nath Singh. The SP and BSP, meanwhile, demanded a high-level inquiry into the incident while accusing the government of “gross criminal negligence”.

Claiming to have been sent by Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi, AICC general secretary Gulam Nabi Azad demanded the “resignation of the health minister and health secretary” and an “apology from the chief minister”.

Gorakhpur, gorakhpur deaths, gorakhpur hospital deaths, Yogi Adityanath, Ghulam nabi azad,gorakhpur hospital tragedy, gorakhpur encephalitis, gorakhpur brd medical college, Uttar pradesh Gorakhpur hospital deaths: Hospital staff ready oxygen cylinders for use early Saturday. (Source: Express photo by Vishal Srivastav)

He was accompanied by former Union minister R P N Singh, Rajya Sabha MPs Sanjay Sinh and Pramod Tiwari and UP party president Raj Babbar among others.

Claiming that during the UPA regime, when he was Union health minister, around Rs 250 crore was sent to the hospital just to fight AES and JE, Azad said: “It is a very sad incident. Sixty deaths in five days. Children have died without any reason.”

Gorakhpur, gorakhpur deaths, gorakhpur hospital deaths, Yogi Adityanath, Ghulam nabi azad,gorakhpur hospital tragedy, gorakhpur encephalitis, gorakhpur brd medical college, Uttar pradesh Gorakhpur hospital deaths: A man mourns the death of his grandchild. (Source: Express photo by Vishal Srivastav)

He clarified that he was referring to the deaths as “bewajah” because they have taken place due to “laparwahi” (negligence) of the state government. Azad claimed that due to the efforts of his government, encephalitis deaths had come down from 3,000 to about 100 in UP.

“Heads should roll now… It is a very big incident and neither the health minister nor the chief minister paid any attention to the issue earlier,” said Azad.

Questioning why postmortem examinations have not been conducted on the bodies of the deceased, he said: “MPs from all parties should also probe the incident.”

As Azad and other Congress leaders entered the building — they were made to wear masks and boot covers — some doctors objected, fearing contamination.

Following this, no other leader was allowed inside the building. Heavy police force was deployed outside to prevent leaders from going in.

Soon after Azad and other Congress leaders left, Samajwadi Party leader Awadhesh Yadav arrived at the hospital. Claiming to be a member of the SP executive committee and a former district president, he held Adityanath, also the Gorakhpur MP, responsible for the deaths. “It is serious negligence… while the chief minister was here, children were dying in the ward. He is directly answerable.”

Later in the day, BJP MP Kamlesh Paswan too visited the hospital. As he was informed that Health Minister Sidharth Nath Singh was already holding meetings with the hospital staff, Paswan preferred to not say much. Later, local Aam Aadmi Party leaders were seen outside the building, but they soon left after accusing the state government of negligence.

Gorakhpur, gorakhpur deaths, gorakhpur hospital deaths, Yogi Adityanath, Ghulam nabi azad,gorakhpur hospital tragedy, gorakhpur encephalitis, gorakhpur brd medical college, Uttar pradesh Gorakhpur hospital deaths: Children at the NICU of Baba Raghav Das Medical College Hospital. (Source: Express photo by Vishal Srivastav)

Meanwhile, a six-member SP team will visit Gorakhpur and submit a report to party chief Akhilesh Yadav by August 13. A three-member BSP team, too, will visit Gorakhpur.

Blaming the UP government, Akhilesh said in Lucknow: “The company supplying oxygen had informed the principal that it would stop the supply if payment was not made and the government must be aware that the deaths have been caused due to shortage of oxygen.”

Stating that the exact toll was not available with the Opposition, he added: “We have received information that as the children were dying, their families were being taken out of the hospital in a hush-hush manner.”

In a statement, BSP chief Mayawati said the deaths were “an example of extreme criminal negligence of public good and welfare”. She demanded a “high-level probe” and “help for the family of the victims”.

“As it is not in the nature of the BJP to accept its follies, the matter of dismissing the departmental ministers for this negligence should be left to the wisdom of the CM,” Mayawati said.

She alleged that the issues of people’s welfare were of no importance “for the governments of the BJP”. “Issues like Tiranga, Vande Mataram, madarsa, anti-Romeo squads — which divert the attention of the people — are of more importance to them,” she said.

Gorakhpur, gorakhpur deaths, gorakhpur hospital deaths, Yogi Adityanath, Ghulam nabi azad,gorakhpur hospital tragedy, gorakhpur encephalitis, gorakhpur brd medical college, Uttar pradesh Gorakhpur hospital deaths: The oxygen meter at the hospital points to zero. (Source: Express photo by Vishal Srivastav)

Mayawati claimed the deaths had occurred at a time when Adityanath had been on a tour of Gorakhpur and “was doing government work by taking time off from his political activities and puja-paath”.

She said the “shocking incident at such a time puts not one but 100 question marks on the ability and working of the BJP government”.

(With PTI inputs)

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  1. H
    Harminder Singh
    Aug 13, 2017 at 8:04 am
    The issue is that they are DEAD so if heads are to roll then bring out a guillotine or ELSE apologise atleast for the negligence Gorakhpur has always had this encephalitis problem so the machinery should have been put in place long ago learn to take responsibility for what goes wrong also instead of self appreciation and back patting.
    Reply
    1. G
      George Cruz
      Aug 13, 2017 at 7:45 am
      The failed/useless opposition parties like the congress want to score political points out of a grave tragedy beyond the control of the Yogi or the BJP. The truth is that the BJP has been in power only for three years and they introduced the Swatch Bharat campaign but it takes time for the people of Bihar to adopt it. If BJP had the magic wand they could have achieved it at the flash of stroke. The congress party ruled the country for the last 65 years with economic malaise with their failed socialistic/communistic policies, never bothered to develop India other than looting country's wealth with using various scams, divided the people of India based on the religion/caste favoring minorities while at the same time demonizing the larger Hindus and the patriotic organizations like the RSS/VHP/Hindutva, etc.
      Reply
      1. A
        Ameya Manjrekar
        Aug 13, 2017 at 1:07 pm
        so 'ache din' will take some more time to become a reality? Please request smriti irani aunty to blame UPA government for this tragedy too
        Reply
      2. N
        Niladrinath Mohanty
        Aug 13, 2017 at 7:00 am
        The way our political persons demand irrespective of party affiliations for the resignations of Prime Minister, Chief Ministers, Ministers, Heads of organisations (even situated far from the place of occurrence like the Bhopal gas tragedy) there will be no administration left in the country and there will be only anarchy. Let there be sensible talk how to prevent such tragic incidents and not just politics and incite emotions. These political persons have no real empathy for the people who have suffered except their own political future.
        Reply
        1. A
          Antony
          Aug 13, 2017 at 6:10 am
          yes, basic amenities for the people are forgotten by this illiterate gau mata party who gives importance to non issues like beef to get votes rather than taking care of peoples needs! life of 60 kids is nothing compared to the cow gods of beef janata party !
          Reply
          1. R
            Robert Mitts
            Aug 13, 2017 at 6:47 am
            So says the follower of a religion who is responsible for the greatest genocide the earth has ever seen. From the America's, Australia, Africa, Asia, and even India...entire cultures, entire populations wiped out. He has no problem in supporting his church where paedophilia is rampant and justice denied to the victims. For him these are non-issues. He is happy to save the souls of the heathens through his soul harvest. Only beef is an issue for him.
            Reply
            1. G
              George Cruz
              Aug 13, 2017 at 8:15 am
              Antony is a sick Muslim nuy who needs change of medication.
              Reply