Gorakhpur: Ahead of Rahul Gandhi’s visit to Gorakhpur on Saturday, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath mounted a veiled attack on the Congress vice-president and said the city wasn’t a picnic spot.
“There’s a ‘yuvraj’ (prince) sitting in Delhi, who doesn’t understand the significance of a Swachhta Abhiyan. There’s no valid reason why he should be permitted to turn Gorakhpur into his picnic spot,” Adityanath said at a public meeting earlier in the day.
The chief minister’s jibe comes on a day when Rahul is scheduled to visit Gorakhpur’s Baba Raghav Das Medical College hospital, where more than 70 children have died since August 7.
Adityanath was in Gorakhpur to flag off the ‘Swachh Uttar Pradesh, Swasth Uttar Pradesh’ campaign, which many consider a propitiatory move following the deaths of 70 children at the district’s BRDM College hospital. While the Adityanath-led government held Acute Encephalitis responsible for the tragic deaths, the opposition alleged that shortfall in the supply of oxygen in the hospital’s paediatric wards was the fatal factor.
However, Adityanath did not allude to the infants’ deaths which had made national headlines for days, but blamed the previous Samajwadi Party and BSP regimes for the ramshackle condition of the state’s medical infrastructure.
Government in last 12-15 years has ruined institutions in UP for selfish motives by institutionalizing corruption. They kept people deprived of facilities,” the CM charged. He said the present government was staking steps to transform the state and asked for the peoples participation in the sanitation campaign and making UP free of open defecation.
“I started movement against Encephalitis; when it comes to it, prevention is better than cure and it starts with sanitation,” said Adityanath, adding that the ‘Swachh Uttar Pradesh, Swasth Uttar Pradesh’ campaign was an effort in this direction.