AMETHI/GWALIOR: A day before Amethi votes for Lok Sabha, a major controversy broke out with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP candidate Smriti Irani alleging that a man died here after being rejected treatment by a hospital associated with the Gandhi family for having an Ayushman Bharat card, even as the hospital denied the allegations as "baseless".
Irani is locked in a bitter political battle against Congress chief Rahul Gandhi in this Lok Sabha constituency considered as his family bastion.
At an election rally in Gwalior on Madhya Pradesh, Modi on Sunday alleged a patient died after an Amethi hospital with trustees from the Gandhi family denied him treatment saying it was not "Modi's hospital" where Ayushman Card would be accepted.
आज मैं निशब्द हूँ - कोई इतना गिर सकता है यह कभी नहीं सोचा था।— Chowkidar Smriti Z Irani (@smritiirani) May 5, 2019
एक ग़रीब को सिर्फ़ इसलिए मरने दिया क्यूँकि उसके पास मोदी का आयुष्मान कार्ड था पर अस्पताल राहुल गांधी का था। pic.twitter.com/fSqEpK5A6S
Modi also alleged that Congress-ruled Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh are not giving benefits of the Ayushman Bharat medical scheme to the poor and asked the people to teach the Congress a lesson in the polls. "The Congress has always been insensitive to the poor. In Amethi (Rahul Gandhi's Lok Sabha constituency), a poor person, who had the Ayushman Bharat card, was denied treatment by a hospital whose trustees are from the Gandhi family," the PM said.
Modi's comments came hours after Irani released a video on Twitter in which a man is heard saying that his uncle died as he was denied treatment by the Sanjay Gandhi Hospital after being told that "Modi's Ayushman Bharat card" was not accepted there.
However, the medical director of the hospital, which lists Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi as trustees of the Sanjay Gandhi Memorial Trust which runs the hospital, denied the allegations as "baseless" and said the man was given all possible treatment and was later advised to go to Lucknow for further treatment as his ailments were found to be much more serious than what could be handled at the Amethi hospital.
SM Chaudhary, the director of the hospital, said, "The claims in the tweet are baseless and politically-motivated. There is no hospital in Amethi where the cure of liver ailments is possible. Apart from this, Nanhe Lal did not have any Ayushman Bharat card. We do not distinguish between patients based on Congress and BJP, and treat a patient as a patient only."
The deceased patient has been identified as Nanhe Lal (59), a resident of Sarraiyya village located in Musafirkhana area of the district. He was admitted on April 25 at 11:00 pm. "He was admitted in a very serious condition, and used to consume a lot of alcohol, as a result of which he suffered from liver failure. Nanhe Lal died on April 26," Chaudhary said.