New Delhi: The Congress on Monday demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi apologise to the country in his Independence Day address for the death of children at a state-run hospital in Gorakhpur.
Congress senior spokesperson Ajay Maken attacked Modi for remaining silent on the death of 30 children, allegedly due to shortage of supply of liquid oxygen, within a span of 48 hours last week.
"The prime minister uses Twitter to say something about tragedies even in Turkey or USA, but he has not found any word to console the families of the dead children.
"We hope he apologises to the country for the deaths due to negligence in his address to the nation on Independence Day," Maken said.
The manner in which this government has failed, the way this incident has happened and there is negligence on the part of the government, "we hope that the prime minister will in his Independence Day address first apologise", he said.
Maken also said that Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi had warned that the funds of BRD Medical College in Gorakhpur had been "stopped" in September, 2016, and had also visited its encephalitis wing.
"People are now complaining that funds which were being sanctioned for encephalitis control have been stopped," Maken said, quoting Gandhi.
Over 60 children have reportedly died at the state-run BRD Medical College since 7 August, many allegedly for want of oxygen. Oxygen supply was allegedly disrupted after bills were not paid to the vendor.
Maken alleged that the oxygen cylinder vendor had written two letters to the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh in recent months and sent several reminders regarding his bills, but no step was taken to ensure continuous supply of oxygen.
He also charged the government with trying to "save" the guilty in the tragic deaths of children and demanded resignation of Chief Minister Adityanath and health minister Siddhartha Nath Singh.
"No list of dead children has been provided by the government so far. Also, post-mortem of the dead children has not been conducted which could reveal the cause of death due to lack of oxygen," he said.
Pointing that so many people were involved in "lapses and negligence" leading to the tragic deaths, he demanded cases be registered against the accused under relevant sections of Indian Penal Code (IPC) for "deliberate criminal negligence".
Updated Date: Aug 14, 2017 20:00 PM