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Spat between Azad and Gujarat minister at swine flu meet

india Updated: Aug 21, 2009 19:55 IST

A review meeting on swine flu triggered a spat between Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, who said some states were not doing their bit to tackle the pandemic, and Gujarat minister JN Vyas who strongly objected to certain words used by him.

Sparks flew at the State Health Ministers review meeting of National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) when Azad did not mince words stating that while some states were doing commendable work others were not taking preventive action to tackle spread of the disease.

Azad said, "We (Centre) can go up to a point. Don't expect us to go beyond a point...we are suffering for the past three months and you (states) are having 'aish' (good time)."

Asking state governments to shoulder responsibility "which they haven't done", Azad claimed that he had been trying to contact some health ministers and they had not returned his calls. "Instead of my chasing them, they should have been chasing me," he said.

"Each state should have an institutionalised mechanism to deal with it (swine flu) and shoulder their responsibility effectively...Bloody I am not interested in figures. I want to know how many beds have been prepared," he said.

Azad's attack did not go down well with the Gujarat Minister who objected to his "use of unconstitutional" words. To this, Azad replied that he was not naming any state and some states had indeed done good work. "I am saying only some states had not done enough."