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Kushwaha Holds Nitish Responsible for Encephalitis Deaths in Bihar, Demands His Resignation

Stating that the entire health services had been left at God's mercy, the RLSP president said chief minister Nitish Kumar was responsible for the children's deaths in large numbers in Muzaffarpur district.


Updated:June 23, 2019, 7:16 PM IST
Kushwaha Holds Nitish Responsible for Encephalitis Deaths in Bihar, Demands His Resignation
File photo of Bihar CM Nitish Kumar visiting a hospital in encephalitis-hit Muzaffarpur.

Patna: Former Union minister and Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) president Upendra Kushwaha on Sunday held Chief Minister Nitish Kumar responsible for the children's deaths in Muzaffarpur district and demanded his resignation.

"Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is responsible for children's deaths in large numbers in Muzaffarpur district...Despite so many deaths of children, the state government has not taken any concrete action to prevent it... The entire health services have been left at God's mercy," Kushwaha said while talking to reporters here at his party office. Nearly 140 children have lost their lives due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) outbreak in the state since June 1, of which 127 died in Muzaffarpur district alone, state health department sources said.

"Mr chief minister, mere assurance (to improve things) will not serve the purpose. Either you act or resign from the post of CM, failing which the RLSP would hit the roads to expose him (Nitish) for his failures," Kushwaha said.

The AES outbreak, which according to the state health department has affected about 20 out of the 40 districts in the state, has afflicted more than 600 children since June 1, killing close to 140. Kushwaha, who was accompanied by the party's national general secretary, cited the state government's data to drive home his point that the government has failed to fill up all the sanctioned posts of doctors in the state.

Against the sanctioned posts of 7,249 regular doctors in the state, only 3,146 doctors were currently working in government hospitals and 533 contractual doctors were working against 2,314 contractual posts in the state, he said.

"How will the health care system improve with 3,679 doctors working in the state against the total sanctioned posts of 9,563 doctors (including regular and contractual doctors)?" he asked.

When pointed out that Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi has not spoken anything on the issue of the children's deaths, Kushwaha said Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah, who is also the Home Minister, also did not express their sorrow or grief over the loss of so many lives. "This shows their insensitivity," he said.

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