The Congress on Monday demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi should apologise to the nation during his Independence Day address for “deliberate criminal negligence” on part of the government that led to the death of over 60 children in a hospital in Uttar Pradesh’s Gorakhpur.
Terming the government “insensitive”, the party also hit out at BJP President Amit Shah for his remarks that “such incidents do happen”, saying it was a “matter of shame and sadness”.
The party also demanded that Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Health Minister Siddharth Nath Singh must resign and an FIR be lodged on the charges of “deliberate criminal negligence”.
“The deaths that took place in Gorakhpur is only because negligence of the government. PM Narendra Modi reacts to every incident outside the country on Twitter, but has no time to react on this incident. This is very unfortunate.
“We would expect the prime minister to apologise to the nation on Tuesday when he’ll be addressing the nation on Independence Day for the negligence on part of the government that in the Gorakhpur incident,” said Congress spokesperson Ajay Maken.
Slamming Amit Shah, Maken said: “When deaths have taken place due to criminal negligence, BJP president Amit shah says ‘such incidents do happen’. If the BJP president makes such remarks, then is is a matter of shame and sadness. How can we expect the government to be sensitive towards children?”
Maken said: “In September 2016, Rahul Gandhiji had raised the encephalitis issue, which fell on deaf ears as usual because of sheer arrogance.
“If they don’t take seriously the warning of a senior leader of the principal opposition party, then how can you expect the government to sensitive. Despite repeated warnings, they did not act.”
Maken noted that the oxygen supplier had written two letters to the Chief Minister – on August 9 and on April 6 – about the delay in payment.
“This year in May the medical college had sought Rs 37 crore from the state government. Later, the state government had asked the central government for the funds. But it has not responded. About 16 reminders were given to the hospital about the payment as well,” said Maken.
Maken also said: “Neither the post-mortem has been done, nor the list of names of children who died has been provided by the state government. If they are not doing post-mortem, it means they are trying to protect the culprits.
“We demand an FIR should be lodged on the charges of deliberate criminal negligence and the culprit should be punished. The CM and Health Minister must resign.”
“When they are saying that there is not negligence on part of the administration and that such deaths occur every year, we can’t expect an impartial probe from these people,” Maken added.