Adityanath targets Rahul, says Gorakhpur not a 'picnic spot'

Adityanath targets Rahul, says Gorakhpur not a 'picnic spot'
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath today targeted Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi over his visit here, saying the 'yuvraj' (prince) sitting in Delhi cannot make Gorakhpur 'a picnic spot'.

Adityanath, who launched a cleanliness campaign in the district to tackle the deadly encephalitis outbreak in the wake of death of 71 children at the BRD hospital here, also hit out at his predecessor and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav.

"I feel that the shehzada sitting in Lucknow ..yuvraj sitting in Delhi will not know the importance of this cleanliness campaign. They will come here to make it a picnic spot, we cannot permit it," the chief minister said taking a jibe at Gandhi, hours before the Congress leader's visit to Gorakhpur to meet the families of the victims.

"If someone gives an open challenge to the self-respect of the people of Gorakhpur and eastern UP ...they will themselves come forward to fight such dreaded diseases through their awareness," Adityanath stressed, launching the 'Swachch Uttar Pradesh - Swasthya Uttar Pradesh campaign' here.

Hitting back at the chief minister for his barb, the Congress said it only reflects the pettiness and panic that Rahul Gandhi's visit will ensure justice to the victims.

"The chief minister took no action and he wants to divert the issue...he is belittling the position that he holds by such petty statements...Rahulji has come here to share the the pain of the poor...but asking why he has come only indicated the pettiness of the chief minister and panic that his visit will ensure justice," said Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee(UPCC) president Raj Babbar.

Babbar along with other senior leaders including Ghulam Nabi Azad and RPN singh accompanied Gandhi. The Congress vice-president visited the villages to meet families of the children who lost their lives and assured full support besides taking up the matter with officials concerned to check the recurrence of the deadly disease.

The Congress has targeted the Aditynath Government over the deaths following allegations that the children who were critically ill succumbed due to oxygen shortage.

Expressing the hope that the cleaniness campaign will be successful in checking encephalitis, Adityanath accused the previous governments of depriving the people of the state of basic facilities for their vested interests.

Stressing that more than the treatment of encephalitis, proper protection to check its spread was necesary for which cleanliness and potable water were important, the chief minister said, adding his government was working towards this end.

The chief minister, who has represented Gorakhpur in the Lok Sabha five times, called for people's active participation in making the campaign a success.

He also mooted giving an award to the cleanest ward after one month, saying when there will be competition in cleanliness, encephalitis will be eradicated on its own.

The chief minister started the camapign from Andiyari bagh locality by picking up a broom.

Meanwhile, Akhilesh Yadav took a dig at the chief minister over his cleanliness drive.

"Khokle vaade aur halki bayanbazi se kab tak Janata Ko bahlayega, aise banega swachch UP-swastha-UP" (how long will you befool the people through hollow promises and petty statements , will this make the state clean and healthy), he tweeted.

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