LUCKNOW: The tragic death of more than 70 neo-natal babies in the state-run Baba Raghav Das Medical College in Gorakhpur has ironically given a new lease of life to the Opposition parties in Uttar Pradesh.Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, who as chief minister was probably as indifferent towards encephalitis victims as his BJP counterpart, lost no time in visiting multiple households of victims, and also announced monetary relief for the victim families. Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee chief Raj Babbar, too, is camping in Lucknow and holding protests, while Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi paid a visit to victims’ families in Gorakhpur on Saturday.
Uprooted from power in Uttar Pradesh in the worst ever performance at UP elections that saw fissures in the party, Akhilesh lapped up the Gorakhpur tragedy as an opportunity to fire up the cadre. The party chief is trying to use the tragedy to get a grip on the party.He utilised the occasion and paid a visit to BRD Medical College. While the government was yet to announce any monetary relief, Akhilesh took the lead and announced a relief of Rs 2 lakh from the party fund. He also exhorted the government to announce an ex gratia of Rs 20 lakh for each of the victim family.
The former CM launched a scathing attack on Yogi Adityanath accusing him of insensitivity and also hiding facts. He also constituted a team of his party leaders to visit the hospital and submit its report.
On the other hand, Congress, which has a negligible seven MLAs in the state assembly, propelled its workers into action mode. Babbar is now camping in the state and leading the workers on streets.
The Congress central command, too, sent a delegation led by former Union health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, RPN Singh and Babbar to pay an instant visit to BRD Medical College.
BSP supremo Mayawati, who is now devoid of leaders of stature, too set up a team under party leader Lalji Verma who visited the BRD Medial College.Meanwhile, the high-powered committee set up by the CM under the state chief secretary will submit its report on the tragedy in a day or two.