Alleging criminal negligence by the BJP state governments, the Congress on Monday demanded a statement from Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the deaths of children at hospitals and urged him to take action on the issue.

Party spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala asked if the Prime Minister will take action against Union Health Minister J.P. Nadda and his Ministry “who have been criminally complicit in ignoring the entire episode”.

He also asked if Modi will take “decisive action” against Chief Ministers and Health Ministers of Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and other Bhartiya Janata Party-ruled states, where people were dying due to swine flu.

“Criminal negligence of the BJP governments has completely decimated the health structure in India.

“Every day deaths of children and elders that are taking place has exposed the lacklustre attitude and criminal neglect of health of children by BJP governments,” he said, adding that the latest example is the painful deaths of 49 children in Uttar Pradesh’s Farrukhabad, while deaths in Gorakhpur have reached 357.

“Only in the last 24 hours, 13 more children have died in Gorakhpur,” he added.

Noting that in Rajasthan’s Banswara, 86 children have died in the past 53 days and 236 children so far this year, while in Jharkhand, 133 children died in the last 28 days, he asked who should be held responsible for “this utter negligence and criminal neglect of health of our children?”

“In Farrukhabad, children are stated to have died again on account of lack of oxygen and medication. Will Prime Minister and Health Ministry wake up from their slumber?” he asked.

The party also raised the issue of children dying due to swine flu in different parts of the country, saying it has reached epidemic proportions as 1,260 people have lost their lives till August.

“In 2016, those dying due to swine flu were only 265. Up to August 2017, this number has gone to 1,260 and here too BJP ruled-states are most guilty,” said Surjewala.

“In Gujarat, 329 people have died, in Maharashtra 467, in Rajasthan 80 and in UP, 53 people have died of swine flu. Until decisive steps are taken, this epidemic will take the lives of thousands of more people,” he added.