Lucknow/Jaipur: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and BSP chief Mayawati on Thursday targeted the Congress over infant deaths at a Rajasthan hospital, saying party leader Priyanka Gandhi should have gone there to console the children's mothers instead of "playing politics" in Uttar Pradesh.
Both appeared to refer to Gandhi's visit to the state after violent protests over the amended citizenship law.
Other BJP leaders have also attacked the Congress-led government in Rajasthan over 100 deaths in December at JK Lon hospital in Kota.
In a tweet on Thursday, chief minister Ashok Gehlot said the deaths should not be politicised.
The Centre too has decided to send a high-level team comprising experts from AIIMS, Jodhpur, and health economists to Kota.
Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said the Centre was ready ready to provide any technical help or assistance.
"Let us ensure no child succumbs to preventable causes or due to lack of health system capacity," Vardhan wrote to Gehlot.
Earlier attacking Priyanka and Congress president Sonia Gandhi, the Uttar Pradesh chief minister said it was extremely sad that despite being women both could not feel the pain of the mothers.
In a series of tweets in Hindi, Adityanath said, "The death of 100 innocent children is extremely saddening and heart-wrenching. The death of children is a blot on a civilised society, human values and feelings."
"It is extremely sad that Congress president Sonia Gandhi and general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, despite being women, are not able to understand the sorrow of the mothers," he added. He said it would have been better "had Priyanka met and consoled the aggrieved mothers instead of indulging in politics in Uttar Pradesh".
Slamming Gehlot, the Uttar Pradesh chief minister said, "The indifference, insensitivity and irresponsible behaviour of Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and his silence makes the mind all the more sad."
BSP supremo Mayawati too questioned the Congress general secretary over her "silence" on the death of at least 100 children in the past month.
She said if Priyanka Gandhi does not meet the children's mothers, then her meeting with the kin of the victims of violence during the anti-CAA protests in UP will be "construed as pure theatrics".
In another tweet, the BSP leader said, "The death of 100 children in Rajasthan's Kota district is very sad and painful. Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and his government are still insensitive, disinterested and irresponsible, which is highly condemnable."
"But, what is more saddening is the fact that the top leadership of the Congress, especially its general secretary, are maintaining silence over this issue. It would have been better that like she did in UP, she had met the aggrieved mothers, who lost their children due to the laxity of the party's government," she said.
Meanwhile, Gehlot said, "The government is sensitive to the death of sick infants in JK Lon Hospital in Kota. There should no politics over the issue. Infant mortality at this hospital is steadily decreasing. We will try to reduce it further. It is our top priority that mothers and children remain in good healthy," Gehlot tweeted in Hindi.
Gehlot claimed that the first ICU for children in Rajasthan was established by the Congress government in 2003. "We also established an ICU for children in Kota in 2011," he added.
Gehlot said the aim of 'Nirogi Rajasthan' was a priority for the government and an expert team from the Centre could further help improve health services in the state.
"We are ready to improve medical services in the state through discussions and cooperation with an expert team from the Centre," he said.
BJP state president Satish Poonia too expressed displeasure on the state government's "attitude" towards the issue.
"It is regrettable that the state health minister did not even visit the hospital. The chief minister is known for being sensitive. A delegation of BJP MPs had met the families who lost their children. They were in deep anguish. If the government is not sensitive then it is worrisome," Poonia said.
He alleged that the BJP MPs were manhandled by Congress workers during a visit to the Kota hospital.
Poonia said the BJP does not want to do politics on the issue but it is unfortunate that the state government is not dealing with it seriously.
A couple of days ago, a Rajasthan government committee had found that the hospital was short of beds and its functioning needs improvement but cleared the doctors there of any lapses.
The three-member committee, which was sent to investigate 10 deaths on December 23 and 24, had said the infants who died on the two days were given the right treatment.
The committee submitted that eight out of the 10 infants were referred from other hospitals and thay were at higher risk due to pre-term birth.
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Updated Date: Jan 02, 2020 21:33:04 IST