Malnutrition and diseases such as pneumonia, diarrhoea and measles killed 21,409 children in Madhya Pradesh in 2012, the state government has admitted in the assembly.
The death toll, an average of more than 58 deaths every day, statistics emerged on Wednesday in a written reply by health minister Narottam Mishra to a question from Congress MLA Ramniwas Rawat.
Most of the deaths have not been attributed to specific diseases, but mentioned in a column named "Others".
Rawat slammed the ruling BJP for being vague and accused chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan's government of hiding the actual death toll. "The Centre is providing crores to the state government to tackle malnutrition, but the Chouhan government has failed to utilise it properly."