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Posted at: Aug 13, 2017, 1:19 AM; last updated: Aug 13, 2017, 2:17 AM (IST)NEWS ANALYSIS

PM seeks report, but is that enough?

Gorakhpur infant deaths Tragedy exposes authorities’ helplessness to tackle Japanese encephalitis that claims hundreds of children every year
PM seeks report, but is that enough?
Workers examine oxygen cylinders at the Baba Raghav Das Hospital in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh, on Saturday. AFP

Vibha Sharma

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 12

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, we are told, has sought a detailed report from the Yogi Adityanath government on more than 60 deaths in UP’s Gorakhpur Medical College and Hospital in the past five days. Minister of State for Health Anupriya Patel and Health Secretary CK Mishra have been told to take stock of the situation. 

“The PM is monitoring the situation in Gorakhpur. He is in constant touch with the authorities,” a PMO statement today read. However, questions are being raised on the social media whether this is good enough for a state that voted overwhelmingly for the BJP less than six months ago, hoping for a better future. During his extensive poll rallies, the PM had promised to rid the state of its many problems, promising “vikas and sushasan” (development and good governance) and blaming rivals for the people’s plight.

“Five years of the SP government, five years of the BSP government and 50 years of Congress rule are responsible for the abysmal condition of UP,” he had declared.

It is now being asked why the PM has not visited Gorakhpur to provide a healing touch and also whether BJP chief Amit Shah should not have left his political assignment in Karnataka and rushed to the state from where he hopes to re-position Modi for a second term in 2019.

Lack of oxygen or otherwise, the tragedy has exposed the helplessness of the authorities in eradicating Japanese encephalitis, called the curse of eastern UP. The disease is responsible for the death of hundreds of children every year in Gorakhpur area, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s Lok Sabha constituency. It seems nothing has changed even after Yogi taking charge of the state.

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