Without naming Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and SP chief Akhilesh Yadav, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Saturday said the “yuvraj” of Delhi and the “shehzada” of Lucknow should not be allowed to turn Gorakhpur into a “picnic spot”. The statement came moments before Rahul landed in Gorakhpur to meet families of the children, who had died at BRD Medical College and Hospital in Gorakhpur recently.
Adityanath, who was in Gorakhpur to launch ‘Swachch Uttar Pradesh — Swasthya Uttar Pradesh’ campaign at Ram Leela Maidan, said: “The importance of this cleanliness drive cannot be acknowledged by some prince sitting in Lucknow. A prince sitting in Delhi will not be able to understand the importance of this campaign. We should not allow them to turn Gorakhpur into a picnic spot.”
The cleanliness campaign was launched in the district to tackle the encephalitis outbreak in the wake of over 70 children dying at the BRD hospital. Meanwhile, Rahul, who spent the day meeting families of the deceased children, described the incident as a “government-made tragedy”. “It is clear that the deaths took place due to shortage of oxygen and negligence. Chief minister ko coverup karne ki koshish nahi karni chahiye, action hona chahiye, yeh mera message hai (My message to the CM is “not to cover-up” and instead take action),” Rahul told mediapersons. Read| Gorakhpur a murderous spot: Congress hits back at Yogi Adityanath. Click here
Referring to the deaths at the BRD hospital as a “national tragedy”, Rahul said that it is also a sign of the condition of healthcare system in the country. “When I had last visited the hospital (on September 7, 2016), I had told Prime Minister Narendra Modi through the media that this hospital needs more money… there are many shortcomings… but no action was taken,” he said.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi talks about New India… but aisa new India humein nahi chihye (We do not want such a new India),” Rahul said, adding that they need an India, where hospitals are operational, where poor can take their children to hospital and leave after being cured.
UP Congress chief Raj Babbar, along with leaders like Ghulam Nabi Azad and R P N Singh, accompanied Rahul to Gorakhpur. Rahul assured families of the victims of full support, besides taking up the matter with officials to check the recurrence of the disease. Akhilesh also took a dig at Adityanath. “Khokhle vaade aur halki bayanbazi se kab tak janata ko behlaiyega, aise banega swachch UP- swastha-UP (How long will you befool people through hollow promises and petty statements, will this make the state clean and healthy),” he tweeted.