The Congress staged a noisy walkout from the state assembly on Friday demanding a debate on malnutrition deaths in Madhya Pradesh.
The Opposition blamed the government of being casual about the sensitive issue and trying to avoid a discussion. As the Opposition legislators staged a walkout, parliamentary affairs minister Narottam Mishra attacked the Congress legislators of seeking a debate on issues and then running away when the government was replying.
During the Zero Hour, Congress MLA Ramniwas Rawat demanded a debate on malnutrition deaths in the state. He said the Congress had already sought a debate on the issue but there was no response from Speaker Sitasaran Sharma.
“According to a reply of the state government to a question, every day 80 children were dying in the state and in 123 days nearly 10,000 children had died in MP…The government is not serious about this sensitive issue and that is why it is not agreeing to the debate,” Rawat said.
Rawat was soon joined by the acting Leader of Opposition, Bala Bachchan, along with other Congress MLAs, who rose from their seats and urged the Speaker to allow a debate on the issue.
The Speaker, however, declined saying that on Thursday Congress MLA Mahendra Singh Kalukheda had said that the debate on the issue could be held in the next session of the assembly. This led to pandemonium in the House and angry Congress legislators staged a walkout shouting: “Save the children.”
On Tuesday, state minister for women and child development, Archana Chitnis told the House that no child in Gwalior division and Sheopur district had died due to malnutrition in the last three years. The reply came barely a few months after the the National Human Rights Commission issued a notice to the chief secretary following media reports that 116 children had died allegedly due to malnutrition related ailments in Sheopur district in the last five months.
‘Govt buying power at higher rate’
Congress MLA Jitu Patwari also staged a walkout from the state assembly on Friday. He accused the state government of buying electricity at higher rates and then putting the burden on the common man and farmers, which led to a ruckus in the House. Patwari staged a walkout shouting, “Bijlee ke loot nahe chalegi (loot of electricity won’t be allowed).”
Sickle cell anemia in MP
Responding to Congress MLA Jhuma Solanki’s call attention motion on deaths due to sickle cell anemia in Khargone district, health minister Rustum Singh said soon state government will provide testing facility (hemoglobin electrophoresis test) for sickle cell anemia in all the 22 high prevalence districts in the state.
He said between January 1 and November 23, 22 patients of sickle cell anemia were indentified at the district hospital in Khargone.