New Delhi: The Congress attacked Wednesday the BJP government in Gujarat over the death of over 15,000 infants during treatment at newborn care units across the state in the last two years. The party demanded Chief Minister Vijay Rupani’s resignation over the issue.
Responding Tuesday to a set of questions raised by Congress MLAs in the Gujarat Assembly, Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel, who also holds the health portfolio, said that out of the 1.06 lakh infants admitted to such units in 2018 and 2019, 15,013 babies died during treatment. These deaths were reported from sick newborn care units set up in almost all districts of the state.
Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala held the BJP government responsible for these deaths.
“15,013 infants died. Everyday 20 infants are dying. The maximum number of infant deaths, 4,322 is in Ahmedabad. This is Amit Shah’s parliamentary constituency,” Surjewala said in a tweet. “Will the cries of babies be heard? Will anyone raise questions? Will the TV media show courage?” he asked.
Speaking with reporters outside Parliament, the party’s spokesperson Shaktisinh Gohil said there are guidelines for sick newborn care units like two newborns should be three metres apart so that infection does not spread. “But when we visited these centres, we saw babies being put next to one another,” informed Gohil.
Gohil hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah for not showing ‘sensitivity’ towards the issue.
The second most number of infant deaths is from Rajkot from where Chief Minister Vijay Rupani was elected to the Assembly. “The chief minister has no right to stay on in the post and he should resign,” Gohil said.