The Congress on Wednesday accused the Maharashtra government of "criminal negligence" in the incident of 31 deaths at a hospital in Nanded and asked why medicines were "not procured on time" for the patients.
The Maharashtra government has denied any shortage of medicines at the hospital while promising appropriate action after a detailed inquiry into the cause of the deaths.
Addressing a press briefing, Congress leader Ajoy Kumar took a swipe at the BJP-Shiv Sena government in the state, alleging that they "could not procure medicines" as they would have been busy "buying MLAs".
Children and people died due to "lack of medicines" in Nanded, he alleged.
Kumar alleged the "gross and criminal negligence" of the Maharashtra government led to the death of so many people, including several infants.
He claimed that this happened because the government had changed the supplier of medicines four months ago and it could not procure medicines for the patients.
As many as 31 deaths, including those of infants, were recorded at the Dr Shankarrao Chavan Government Medical College and Hospital in central Maharashtra's Nanded district in 48 hours since September 30.
Six more deaths were recorded in 24 hours from October 2 to 3, an official said on Wednesday.
Kumar also slammed the state government after Shiv Sena MP Hemant Patil made the acting dean of the government hospital clean a dirty toilet and urinals. Police registered an FIR against Patil on Wednesday.
Amid outrage over the deaths, including of some infants, from September 30 to October 2, the Hingoli MP visited Dr Shankarrao Chavan Government Medical College and Hospital on Tuesday and took stock of the situation.
A viral video showed Patil handing a broom to Wakode and making him clean a toilet and wall-mounted urinals.
While the kin of several deceased patients alleged negligence and shortage of medicines at the hospital, Maharashtra Medical Education Minister Hasan Mushrif on Tuesday said the deaths will be inquired into to establish the cause and promised that the facilities will improve at the hospital in the next 15 days.
Mushrif also said there was no shortage of medicines at the hospital and maintained that if the deaths occurred due to anyone's negligence, action would be taken against that person.
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