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The tragedy has set off a war of words between the various political parties

~By Deepti Jain

As many as sixty-three children have died in a span of past five days due to shortage of oxygen supply at state-run Baba Raghav Das Medical College in Gorakhpur. However, the Uttar Pradesh government led by Yogi Adityanath  has emphatically stated that no child died because of paucity of oxygen. It has, however, admitted there could be negligence and has ordered an investigation. The Chief Minister Yogi had visited the hospital, on August 9.

Apparently, the paucity of oxygen supply was due to non-payment of dues to the company Pushpa Co. that supplied oxygen. The company had been supplying oxygen on humanitarian basis as they didn’t have a contract from the government. Rs 70 lakh is pending for payment.

The tragedy has also set off a war of words between the various political parties.

When  APN asked a BJP minister KK Shukla about who is responsible for the death of children? At the drop of the hat he said, “The authorities of the hospital are solely responsible as they didn’t take appropriate measures on time, nor was the Chief Minister informed by the doctors and officials about the shortage of oxygen – neither on July 9 nor on August 9.”

“In my view, this is a clear case of corruption and negligence, and whosoever is found guilty in the tragic incident will certainly face stringent action,” he added.

SP leader Juhi Singh hit out at UP Government and said, “Despite knowing that each year, several adults and children die because of Japanese encephalitis virus, the government should have made the  preparations in full swing.”

“It was extremely unfortunate as the families of the deceased were sent off with the dead bodies, even without going through a postmortem,” she added.

Congress spokesperson Siddhartha Srivastava, too, took a jibe at Yogi and stressed upon the fact that the several local media houses were publishing the news about the lack of liquid oxygen in the hospital for the past few weeks but the BJP turned a blind eye.

Outraged by the remarks made by the political leaders on the tragedy, a social worker Prince Lenin was of the view that this incident is becoming another political blame game. “Such incidents clearly show that both the ruling BJP government and the principal opposition Samajwadi Party of the state are tainted with the blot of incompetence and  insensitivity.”

APN Consulting Editor Govind Pant Raju was firm in his views and said the incident is heart wrenching and shows the carelessness of Uttar Pradesh government.

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