JAIPUR: Deputy Chief Minister and state Congress president Sachin Pilot’s statements over the Ashok Gehlot government’s handling of the deaths of over 100 newborns at the Kota hospital have sharply intensified the rift in the Rajasthan Congress.
Pilot had on Saturday said the government could have been ‘more sensitive’ in its response and claimed it was pointless to blame the former BJP government as the Congress has been in power in Rajasthan for a year. Pilot insisted on accountability being fixed too.
Pilot’s sharp remarks are seen as a direct attack on CM Gehlot’s remark that infant deaths occur in all hospitals.
Pilot is especially miffed with health minister Raghu Sharma who was earlier in his camp but has in recent months, switched support to Gehlot camp. Asked for his reaction, Gehlot simply folded his hands and refused comment.
Gehlot had earlier reiterated that the number of deaths in Kota is the lowest this year as opposed to the time when 1,400 had died in the same hospital. Gehlot loyalists are, meanwhile, questioning why Pilot failed to visit Kota.
A senior Congress leader said: “Pilot is not just Deputy CM but also the Congress chief in Rajasthan. He has often said that the party will monitor government on a regular basis. If that’s so, he also shares responsibility.”