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Lucknow: Congress walks out of Assembly over Gorakhpur encephalitis deaths

Refuting the allegations, senior BJP leader and health minister Sidhartha Nath Singh said the journalists failed to understand the difference between PICU (Pediatric Intensive Care Unit) and NICU (Neo-natal Intensive Care Unity) and were thus bringing bad name to Gorakhpur.

Written by Maulshree Seth | Lucknow |
Updated: December 22, 2018 4:56:28 am
Congress walkout over encephalitis deaths, Gorakhpur child deaths, UP child deaths, BRD hospital, Yogi Adityanath, BRD hospital oxygen supply, encephalitis, Gorakhpur encephalitis, UP hospital deaths, UP news A relative of a patient, identified as Rani, breaks the security cordon to meet Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath during his visit to a trauma centre in Lucknow on Friday. She claimed that the staff of the health facility have been neglecting her relative’s treatment. (Express Photo by Vishal Srivastav)

The Congress walked out of the state Assembly Friday, alleging that the state government had imposed an “emergency” in BRD Medical College to hide actual figures of deaths due to AES and Japanese Encephalitis (JE) in Gorakhpur from the media.

Refuting the allegations, senior BJP leader and health minister Sidhartha Nath Singh said the journalists failed to understand the difference between PICU (Pediatric Intensive Care Unit) and NICU (Neo-natal Intensive Care Unity) and were thus bringing bad name to Gorakhpur.

The health minister was replying to the question raised by Congress Legislature Party leader Ajay Kumar Lallu.

“BRD medical college mein kitni mauten hui hain, pichale salon mein roj buliten jari hoti thi, aur pichale sal se media pe pratibandh laga diya hai… (Earlier, the BRD Medical College used to release a bulletin about the number of deaths caused due to AES and JE. But now a ban has been put on media since last year),” Lallu said.

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Responding to him, Singh claimed that compared to previous years, encephalitis cases and deaths have come down due to the government’s sustained efforts.

“Due to training and awareness, the encephalitis cases and deaths have come down. In the budget, for the first time Rs 20 crore was earmarked for the awareness drive and people from all walks (of life) were associated with the campaign due to which we got success in containing the disease,” he said.

Lallu, however, claimed that in Gorakhpur alone scores of people had died due to encephalitis.

“Emergency has been imposed on the media in the BRD college, where no regular bulletins are issued about the cases and deaths”, he said.

Refuting the allegations, Singh clarified that “media could not differentiate between child deaths in PICU and MICU due to which confusion prevailed at times”. There is no emergency imposed on anyone, he added.

Later, while raising the issue of rise in the electricity rates for farmers, Samajwadi Party (SP) also staged a walkout. Meanwhile, BSP Legislature Party leader Lalji Verma raised the question that why governments is not providing free of cost connection up to 300 meters for water-pumps in the rural areas.

Responding to the opposition’s query, while power minister Srikant Sharma said that his government’s focus is to ensure that maximum electricity is made available to the farmers, he said that steps are being taken for their welfare unlike in the past, when only announcements were made. “Pehle kewal ghoshnaen hoti thi implementation nahi hota tha.” said Sharma.

However, landing the government in an awkward situation, Triveni Ram, MLA of Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party (SBSP) from Jakhanian reserved constituency in Ghazipur district, said that he had applied for a 2kw connection for his home outside the village for which he was told by an executive engineer of the power department that electricity would reach his home. He alleged that it has been four months since he had taken the connection, but is yet to get electricity. The SBSP is an alliance partner of BJP in the state. To this, the power minister said that his government would ensure that electricity reaches all such houses by December 31.

Meanwhile during zero hour, the opposition raised the issue of employment as well as cancellation of competitive examination for appointments in the state and demanded that applicants be reimbursed application fees and also the money spent on travel to the examination centre, whenever the state government cancels the examination.

While BSP MLA Sukhdev Rajbhar alleged that hardly any appointments were done under the present government as it was only cancelling previous appointments and examinations, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath refuted the allegations and demanded the opposition to prove it. “The government will not allow anyone to play with the future of the youth in the state,” said the chief minister.

Claiming that appointments in his government have taken place in utmost transparent manner and everyone has been given chance to put up their case, Adityanath targeted the previous government in the state and said that earlier whenever vacancies were announced people associated with a party or one family used to roam around the state with the a bag to collect money.

The opposition, especially BSP, raised strong objection to the statement made by Adityanath over collection of money for filling vacancies during previous regimes.

Meanwhile, SP MLA from Azamgarh, Durga Prasad Yadav alleged that a dalit girl, who was allegedly gang raped and left on the road, was abducted in a vehicle that had a BJP flag on it. He demanded that a judicial inquiry be conducted into the incident as people do not trust police investigation.

Responding to him, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Suresh Khanna raised objection to the SP MLA taking the name of the girl in public and demanded that he apologises. He added that the incident had come to light and a case was registered against four people. Khanna said that as per law, the girl also gave her statement before a magistrate where she refuted that any such incident took place.

Adding that anyone can put a flag, Khanna said that those who had gone to Ram Janmabhoomi also had Samajwadi Party flags. He said, “Atankwadi jab gaye the toh Samajwadi ka jhanda lagaye the, toh kya kiya jaye,” said Khanna.

The house was adjourned sine-die, with speaker Hriday Narayan Dixit maintaining that good precedent should be

laid in showing decency inside the assembly and thanking everyone. (With PTI inputs)

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