Rahul Gandhi meets Gorakhpur tragedy victims’ kin, assures help
Rahul visited these families in four villages despite a flood scare and chief minister Yogi Adityanath criticising the Congress leader and Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav separate visits to Gorakhpur.Updated: Aug 19, 2017 19:34 IST
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday visited the families of four children who died in the BRD Medical College tragedy.
Rahul visited these families in four villages despite a flood scare and chief minister Yogi Adityanath criticising the Congress leader and Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav separate visits to Gorakhpur.
Rahul Gandhi assured all possible help and support to the families of the victims as he heard them out. Ahead of the visit, he reportedly told his security personnel that his motorcade should not have any ambulance and doctors. They should be deployed for the aid of encephalitis patients instead, he said.
As a result, the Congress vice-president’s convoy did not have any ambulance or physician.
Rahul first visited the house of Brahmdev Yadav at Baghaghada village on the outskirts of Gorakhpur city. Brahmdev lost his twins, who were born on August 1, on August 9 and 10 in the BRD Medical College tragedy.
Akhilesh Yadav too had visited Brahmdev on August 14.
“Rahulji assured all possible help, including efforts to get me a job. He asked me to narrate the sequence of events at the BRD Medical College. I did that. Akhileshji gave me Rs 2 lakh as aid,” said Brahmdev soon after Rahul’s one-hour stay at his house.
Though Rahul did not speak to reporters, UP Congress chief Raj Babbar took the opportunity to hit back at chief minister Adityanath.
“Questioning the intention of Rahulji’s visit indicates that the chief minister has petty thinking and somewhere he is jittery about the visit. The Yogi government has failed,” Babbar said.
Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, who visited Gorakhpur with Rahul, told reporters: “In spite of being five-time MP from Gorakhpur, he (Adityanath) did nothing for the (BRD Medical College) hospital.”
Shortly before Rahul’s arrival at Baghaghada village, there were reports of the Rapti river overflowing at Nausadh embankment barely 1.5 km from the village, situated in a low-lying area.
Amid apprehension that floodwaters might reach the village, Rahul’s security staff surveyed the areas nearby. Eventually, the Congress vice-president reached the village.
Later, he visited Nitish Shukla’s house at Mallav village, Ramashakar’s house in Bisauli Khurd and Jitendra’s home at Khutauna village.
As Rahul left the first village, heavy rain lashed Gorakhpur, leading to cancellation of his visit to BRD Medical College scheduled at 4 pm. Instead, the Congress announced that Rahul will hold a press conference at 4 pm.
Earlier, chief minister Adityanath reached Gorakhpur two hours before Rahul. Launching a cleanliness drive, he lashed out at Rahul and Akhilesh without naming them, and accused them of treating Gorakhpur as a ‘picnic spot’.
Both opposition leaders have repeatedly demanded the CM’s resignation over the deaths of more than 100 kids at the hospital allegedly because of oxygen shortage.
“Yuvraj sitting in Delhi and shahzada in Lucknow can’t understand the importance of cleanliness drive launched by the government,” Adityanath said in a Dalit colony in Gorakhpur. “For them (Akhilesh and Rahul), Gorakhpur is a picnic spot.”
First Published: Aug 19, 2017 16:51 IST