In 2014, Congress Walked Out Of Parliament When Yogi Adityanath Wanted To Discuss Encephalitis

author image
5:01 pm 15 Aug, 2017


How dirty can you be in politics? Perhaps not as dirty as the political class we have and a section of the mainstream media which panders to that class.

While many in India are genuinely hurt by the deaths of the children at BRD Medical College in Gorakhpur, the politics that has been played around it is deplorable and disgusting.


A relative tends to a child at the BRD. PTI

Now before we go any further, let us tell you that this is not in defense of the ruling party in Uttar Pradesh; whosoever is responsible for whatever happened in BRD – be it the hospital administration, the doctors, the local administration or the state government – must be brought to book.

Yet the so-called ‘guardians of humanity’ and the ‘concerned’ Opposition parties and ideologues are trying to score brownie points over the ruling party using the deaths of children. And those in the media with clear political ideologies or anti-BJP bias are disgracing journalism with ‘selective reporting’ and abysmal comments, all the while they ignore the core problem.

Today, the Congress party has assumed a moral high ground and is demanding the resignation of the CM.

But this same party once refused to discuss Encephalitis in the Parliament on a flimsy ground which exposes the dirty political games of our parties.

In August 2014, just three months after the BJP came to power with a massive landslide at the polls, the Congress staged a walk out when the Lok Sabha Speaker converted a calling attention motion on Encephalitis to special discussion.

It so happened that the newly formed government wanted to discuss the spread of Japanese Encephalitis in the Parliament.

Yogi Adityanath, the BJP MP from Gorakhpur, raised a calling attention motion on spread of Encephalitis in East UP and other parts of the country. The then Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan was responding to that motion amidst a din created by the Congress members.

Adityanath then demanded that the discussion be converted from calling attention to short duration discussion. After discussing with the House, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan converted it to a special discussion.

It was at this juncture that Mallikarjun Kharge, the leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha, staged a walk out with other Congress members. Before leaving, Kharge reportedly said, “What is the business of the House? Government has no business at all.”


Mallikarjun Kharge is a senior Congress leader and leader of the party in Lok Sabha.

Kharge and other Congress leaders objected that more time was being given to special discussions and not on discussions such as those on budget. They were objecting that only the government’s matters were being given priority.

Even though the Speaker told the Congress leaders the importance of a calling attention motion, they continued with their uproar.

So is that how Congress leaders see Encephalitis – less worthy than a debate on the Budget? Or was that walk out staged so that fingers are not raised at Ghulam Nabi Azad?

It is ironic that Azad, who was the Union Health Minister from 2009 to 2014 (UPA- II regime), did nothing to end Japanese Encephalitis and is now demanding the resignation of Adityanath over the same reason. They are now singing a different tune and showing false sympathy with those who died.


Family members of the children who died at the BRD Medical College in Gorakhpur. PTI

Now, what is the core problem? Japanese Encephalitis is one, and the other is the state of India’s hospitals!

Amidst the deluge of the anti-BJP reports and comments, two particular reports emerged but were IGNORED by those whose only objective was to hit the BJP and not do anything for the children.

One report, by India Today, highlighted out how JE has been killing thousands for the last 40 years. The other report, by, pointed out the number of instances the UP Chief Minister, who is a Member of the Parliament from Gorakhpur, raised the issue of the dreaded disease in the Parliament even when the Congress was in power.


The highest number of cases and deaths between 2003 and 2014 were in 2005, when Samajwadi Party was in power in the state.

But both reports DO NOT absolve anyone. In fact, together they point out that every political party in power in the state in the last four decades did nothing to stop the deaths.

No one made any effort to find a low-cost cure for JE even though there are costly vaccinations against it available in other countries.


Japanese encephalitis vaccine “ENCEVAC”. Wikimedia Commons

They did nothing to ensure that hospitals are of the best standards and that patients have all the facilities they need. The parties continue to blame each other but no one attempted to end corruption in Uttar Pradesh – perhaps the biggest problem in India’s most populous state.


And when today a series of deaths of children happened, everyone, including some in the media, are singing songs of sympathy & concern in a tune set according to their respective biases.