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Just landed in Kerala: dengue doctor Yogi

The Kerala government was given some class work today by Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath, parachuted to the state to take the baton from BJP president Amit Shah on the second day of the party's fortnight-long yatra against "Marxist-jihadi violence".

By Our Bureau
  • Published 5.10.17
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Oct. 4: The Kerala government was given some class work today by Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath, parachuted to the state to take the baton from BJP president Amit Shah on the second day of the party's fortnight-long yatra against "Marxist-jihadi violence".

The assignment: learn from Uttar Pradesh how to run hospitals. Adityanath's justification for the swipe? Dengue and chikungunya deaths. The statistic he offered: 300 dengue deaths in Kerala in one year, and several chikungunya deaths.

"Uttar Pradesh is a big state and still the number of dengue deaths is lower, and there have been no chikungunya deaths," he said.

While the state did see numerous dengue deaths this year, Kerala has been widely described as a model state on multiple standard health indicators, such as maternal mortality, infant mortality and life expectancy at birth, as well as public health services offering free diagnosis and treatment.

The CPM, which heads the government in Kerala, tweeted: "Irony just died due to lack of Oxygen! CM Yogi would do well to pay attention to UP's health indices."

The oxygen dig is a direct reminder to the chief minister about the recent deaths of over 30 children in 48 hours in a government hospital in Gorakhpur, a constituency he has represented in the Lok Sabha for five consecutive terms since 1998.

Between August 9 and 11, 30 children died at BRD Medical College allegedly because of halted oxygen supply that resulted from non-payment of dues.

Earlier, on hearing about the BJP's plans to send Adityanath to Kerala for its Jan Raksha Yatra, the CPM had tweeted: "We invite UP CM Yogi to visit Kerala Hospitals to learn how to run Hospitals effectively!"

The CPM also sought to make political capital out of Amit Shah's decision to cut short his visit and return to Delhi with the tweet: "I came, I saw, I fled!"

Shah is to return to Kerala on Thursday. He was earlier scheduled to spend three days beginning Tuesday in Kerala.

In Uttar Pradesh, CPM state committee member Sudhir Kumar Singh pointed out that 433 children had died at BRD Medical College in Gorakhpur in September, the maximum at the hospital in the past four years.

"The corresponding figures were 372, 302 and 378 in September 2016, 2015 and 2014, respectively," Singh told The Telegraph . The figures matched those available with BRD Medical College.

Heeralal Yadav, the state secretary of the CPM, said: "We have collected reports from Gorakhpur that prove that the health-care system has collapsed there."

Yadav alleged that Adityanath had "ignored the home truths" and gone to Kerala to "communalise" the state.

In Kerala, a state known for its communal harmony and where the BJP has been seeking to establish a toehold, the Uttar Pradesh chief minister accused the Left of ignoring "love jihad".

"Love jihad is a dangerous trend. The Kerala government has not taken effective steps to check it," he said, in response to a question.

Yadav said in Uttar Pradesh: "The law-and-order situation in the state is dilapidated. The chief minister said in Kerala today that 'love jihad' had emerged as a dangerous trend there. But he didn't care when many girls in Uttar Pradesh's Saharanpur district stopped going to school fearing harassment."

CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury said the BJP-RSS yatra in Kerala was yet another diversionary tactic to take the attention of people away from the economic downturn.