The Opposition Sunday continued to target the Uttar Pradesh government over the deaths of 60 children since August 7 in Gorakhpur’s BRD Medical College hospital. While state Congress president Raj Babbar demanded the resignation of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, BSP chief Mayawati accused the state government of trying to shrug off responsibility and making the principal of the medical college a “scapegoat”.
Speaking to mediapersons in Lucknow, Babbar said Adityanath should take “moral responsibility” and resign. He asked if the CM cannot ensure government services in his own district, how would he do so for the entire state. Babbar also demanded a compensation of Rs 1 crore for the family of each dead child.
A PTI report quoted him as saying, “Seventy children were murdered in the past 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”.
On Saturday, state Health Minister Sidharth Nath Singh had said 587 children died at the hospital in August 2016, and the corresponding figures for 2015 and 2014 were 668 and 567. Mayawati on Sunday termed Singh’s remark “insensitive and irresponsible”.
She accused the state government of trying to “escape from its responsibility” by suspending the principal of BRD Medical College, Rajiv Mishra, who, she said, has been made “the scapegoat”. She said that while strict action was needed to give hope of justice to the affected families, “an attempt is being made to cover up this unfortunate incident”.
The BSP chief went on to say that people are getting tired of hearing the chief minister’s assurances that “those guilty will not be spared”. “Neither is any action being taken against such persons, nor are such incidents being stopped from happening,” she said, adding that the state government appears to be failing in providing basic public services like health, education and security.
Samajwadi Party president and former CM Akhilesh Yadav said it is unfortunate that the chief minister is trying to “put the blame on the media instead of accepting the mistakes”. He also called the health minister’s remarks on the number of deaths “the height of insensitivity”.
In a statement, Akhilesh demanded a compensation of Rs 20 lakh for the family of each dead child. He also said that the government’s inquiry will be “only a drama because the state government’s ministers and officers have already started playing politics on the cause of the children’s deaths”.