Opposition Demands Resignation of Rajasthan Health Minister Over H1N1 Outbreak

Published: 26th February 2015 04:04 PM  |   Last Updated: 26th February 2015 04:04 PM   |  A+A-


JAIPUR: Rajasthan Assembly today witnessed noisy scenes as the Opposition parties accused the Vasundhra Raje-led BJP government of failing in containing the swine flu outbreak in the state and demanded resignation of Health Minister R S Rathore on moral grounds.

Opposition members did not allow the state health minister to speak on the issue during Zero Hour.

They indulged in slogan shouting and later staged a walkout from the House.     

National People's Party leader K L Meena, Leader of Opposition Rameshwar Dudi, Congress's chief whip Govind Singh Dotasar, party MLAs Ramesh Meena, Giriraj Malinga and Shravan Kumar alleged that BJP failed to tackle the swine flu outbreak in the state and demanded that the health minister should immediately resign taking moral responsibility.           

Dotasar claimed at least 1,000 people had died of HIN1 virus in the state so far this year against the government's figure of 243 deaths.         

He said the tourism and hospitality industry in the state was badly affected due to the pandemic and overall tourism sector of the country had suffered a loss of about 5,500 cr.        

Meena told the House that the state government was making false statements on swine flu as it did not have Tamiflu stocks available with it before January.

Shravan Kumar of Congress said there was a shortage of doctors and para-medical staff at the hospitals in rural areas.          

Amid the ensuing chaos, Speaker Kailash Meghwal told the Leader of Opposition that he was not serious on the issue and not allowing the health minister to speak following which the Opposition members staged a walkout from the House.      

Later, Rathore rejected the charges of rival party members saying the situation was much better in Rajasthan as compared to other states.  

"Rajasthan recorded just 4.7 per cent of swine flu death rate as against 23.3 per cent in Punjab, 23 pc in Chandigarh, 22.2 pc in Orissa, and 21.4 pc in Uttarakhand," the minister said.     

The state has recorded 245 deaths due to swine flu till yesterday, he said adding that Jaipur recorded maximum 49 deaths, followed by Ajmer 29, Jodhpur 28, Nagaur 23, Barmer 19, Kota 11, Pali 9, Sikar 8, and one to 7 at many places in the state.           

Rajasthan government provided free test and treatment to patients in all public hospitals, 32 lakh Tamiflu tablets and 65,000 syrups were also made available to them, he said.        

Besides the government made a payment of Rs 4 cr to private hospitals for conducting H1N1 tests, he said.   

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