Under immense pressure following the Gorakhpur tragedy Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath took a shot at Congress’s Vice President Rahul Gandhi ahead of his visit saying he will not allow Gorakhpur to become a ‘picnic spot’.

“Delhi mein baitha koi yuvraj swachhta abhiyan ka mahatv nahi jaanega. Gorakhpur unke liye picnic spot bane uski ijazat nahi deni chahiye’’, said Adityanath at a public meeting earlier today.

Mr. Adityanath, who launched a cleanliness campaign in the district to tackle the deadly encephalitis outbreak in the wake of the death of 71 children at the BRD hospital, also hit out at his predecessor and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav.

The political heat meter was at a high today in Gorakhpur as Rahul visited the hospital. After which he even stopped by at the homes of families who lost their children in the mishappening. Earlier this month senior Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and Raj Babbar visited the hospital to ‘analyse’ the situation, soon after the tragedy struck.

“If someone gives an open challenge to the self-respect of the people of Gorakhpur and eastern UP …they will themselves come forward to fight such dreaded diseases through their awareness,” Adityanath stressed, launching the ‘Swachch Uttar Pradesh — Swasthya Uttar Pradesh campaign’ here.

Responding to his statement, Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee (UPCC) president Raj Babbar said, “The Chief Minister took no action and he wants to divert the issue…he is belittling the position that he holds by such petty statements…Rahulji has come here to share the pain of the poor…but asking why he has come only indicated the pettiness of the chief minister and panic that his visit will ensure justice,”

Stressing that more than the treatment of encephalitis, proper protection to check its spread was necessary for which cleanliness and potable water were important, the chief minister said, adding his government was working towards this end.

The Chief Minister, who has represented Gorakhpur in the Lok Sabha five times, called for people’s active participation in making the campaign a success.

He also mooted giving an award to the cleanest ward after one month, saying when there will be competition in cleanliness, encephalitis will be eradicated on its own.

Mr. Adityanath started the campaigns from Andiyari Bagh locality by picking up a broom.

– Excerpts from PTI


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