The death toll of infants at the J K Lon government hospital in Rajasthan’s Kota rose to 110 on Sunday, news agency ANI reported. While 100 children died at the hospital in December, 10 more have died since the beginning of the new year.
On Saturday, criticising his own government over the deaths of the children, Rajasthan Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot said the state government’s response could have been “more sensitive and compassionate”. He said that instead of pointing out the “misdeeds’ of the previous government, the emphasis should be on “fixing accountability”.
Speaking to reporters after visiting the hospital on Saturday, Pilot said: “Our response to the entire episode could have been more sensitive, I think we should have been more compassionate. I feel that after 13 months of being in government, it may not serve any purpose to keep pointing to the previous government’s misdeeds or wrongdoings… Because, if they had done their job, they would not have been voted out. We have been voted in, we have to face the responsibility and consequences.”
On Friday, State Health Minister Raghu Sharma had blamed the previous BJP government for the lack of infrastructure at the hospital. He had claimed that the previous government had turned down the hospital’s request for funds.
“People expected us to deliver… I believe we have to fix accountability. If we are expecting others to be accountable, we have to be accountable ourselves. I think this is not a small incident, it’s heart-wrenching. The whole state, the entire country is shaken, and I think a much more positive and a sensitive response from all of us would have been appreciated,” said Pilot.
Speaking to The Indian Express later, Pilot, who is also the state president of the Congress, said: “I think the situation here is alarming, it’s saddening. I am distressed… The loss of life on this scale, of so many innocent babies, is not acceptable. We have to fix responsibility.”