Cong and BJP in war of words over Amethi hospital row
Grand old party accuses BJP-led government of taking away development projects away from the constituency after installation of BJP-led government at the Centre
LUCKNOW The cancellation of registration of Amethi’s Sanjay Gandhi Hospital by the UP administration triggered a fresh round of verbal duel between the Congress and the BJP. The two parties again traded charges over the issue of development projects in the Lok Sabha constituency, which till 2019, was considered the bastion of the Nehru-Gandhi family.
Both parties had consistently remained engaged in a blame game, with the grand old party accusing the BJP-led government of taking away development projects away from the constituency after the installation of BJP-led government at the Centre following 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
The Sanjay Gandhi Charitable Trust runs the hospital in Munshiganj (Amethi) providing health care services to people of nearby areas. Senior Congress leader and Rae Bareli MP Sonia Gandhi is the chairperson of the trust while Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi and AICC general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra are its members.
The UP health department had cancelled the registration of the Sanjay Gandhi Memorial Hospital in Amethi after the death of a 22-year-old woman in a case of alleged medical negligence.
Health department officials on Tuesday said on the directions of the deputy chief minister, a three-member team led by additional CMO Dr Ram Prasad conducted a probe into the matter. In its report, the department found laxity in treatment given to Divya, 22, and said the woman could have been saved if specialist doctors had reached the hospital.
On September 14, Divya was taken to the hospital after she complained of a stomach ache. After examining her, the doctor suggested an operation to remove stones in her gallbladder.
While the Congress termed the suspension of licence as “political vendetta”, the BJP said there had been instances of medical negligence in the hospital earlier too.
“This is clearly political vendetta. Instead of bringing about development in the constituency, the BJP government has been shutting down existing projects. The hospital also served people of nearby districts. The state government’s priority should be to ensure that people continue to get medical treatment there. Besides giving representations to the district administration, we are taking the issue to court as well,” said Pradeep Singhal, president, district Congress Committee (Amethi).
“There have been complaints against the hospital and cases of medical negligence have been reported from there earlier too,” said Uma Shankar Pandey, BJP leader and president of Amethi Bar Association.
UP Congress Committee (UPCC) president Ajay Rai had on Wednesday sent a letter to chief minister Yogi Adityanath, urging him to withdraw the orders for cancellation of registration to ensure that the hospital continues to serve people.
In 2017, a sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) had visited Sanjay Gandhi Hospital at Munshiganj (Amethi) amid allegations that the hospital’s guest house was being used for “political activities”, which triggered a war of words between the Congress and the BJP. The Congress accused the BJP government of ‘eyeing more projects for closure’ that were being run in Amethi. The district administration in Amethi had also accused the hospital of violating the conditions of land lease.
“There is a long list of projects that have been closed in Amethi. Sanjay Gandhi Hospital is among projects that somehow survived. Now, the hospital has also been closed,” said Singhal. But Pandey countered this saying the BJP government brought new projects to Lucknow. He said Krishi Vigyan Kendra, a central school and Amethi bypass etc had been brought to Amethi during the tenure of BJP government.
A day after the Congress demanded revocation of Sanjay Gandhi Hospital’s licence suspension, UP deputy chief minister Brajesh Pathak on Thursday said the step was taken after a probe into the death of a woman, according to an agency report. He said action would be taken against all the hospitals, which were functioning illegally or found of negligence in treating patients.