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Congress President Sonia Gandhi calls meeting of senior leaders on Kota deaths

Sonia Gandhi

Facing flak from opposition and public over the death of children in party-ruled Rajasthan, Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi has called a meeting of senior party leaders on Saturday to discuss the issue and the state government’s response.

Gandhi is upset over the death of children in Kota’s J.K. Lon Hospital and has directed Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot to take necessary steps, a party leader said on Friday.

Criticising the BJP, Congress’ state in charge Avinash Pande said: “The party is trying to divert attention from the main issues, and there should be no politics on it. The Chief Minister has invited the Union Health Minister to the state.

“We are saddened by the death of children in the hospital… the Chief Minister is also upset and has sent the health minister to Kota.”

Meanwhile, the National Human Rights Commission on Friday sent notice to the state government on the issue. The notice to the state Chief Secretary has asked the state government to submit a detailed report within four weeks in the matter, including the steps being taken to address the issue.

The apex human rights body has also directed the Rajasthan government to ensure that such deaths of children do not recur in future due to “lack of infrastructure and health facilities” in hospitals. The statement noted that ten out of a hundred children died within 48 hours between December 23 and 24, 2019 as reportedly, over 50 per cent of the gadgets installed in the hospital are defunct and the hospital is lacking cleanliness and basic infrastructure, including oxygen supply, in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

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