NEW DELHI : The Congress on Wednesday hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for what it said was "equating Gorakhpur hospital deaths with natural calamity" and said he should instead have apologised to the countrymen. The Congress also demanded a probe supervised by a Supreme Court judge into the tragedy.
"Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister (Yogi Adiyanath) has failed completely. But we expected the Prime Minister to apologise to the country on behalf of the state government for the Gorakhpur tragedy. But Modi made a passing reference and equated it with natural calamity," senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said.
"This is not a natural calamity. This is a man-made calamity," he added.
More than 60 children died due to alleged oxygen shortage at the Baba Raghav Das Medical College Hospital in Gorakhpur, a charge denied by the state authorities.
Azad said: "The UP government is responsible for this calamity. This government has been unsuccessful in providing oxygen.
"This government changed the Gorakhpur company that was supplying oxygen cylinders to the hospital. It was replcaed by an Alahabad company. They should reply to this charge. Which is this compnay? Who is reponsible and why did they do it? The UP governmemt owes an explanation to the nation," he added.
Taking a potshot at Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah's stand that the investigation was on under Modi's supervision, the Congress leader quipped: "If it is so, the truth will never come out."
"The report will be hushed up. We had demanded an impartial probe. We want a probe under the supervision of a Supreme Court judge," he added.
Hitting out at Yogi Adityanath, Azad said: "The Chief Minister, a four-time MP from Gorakhpur, didn't meet me even once in five years when I went there as Union Health Minister. We can make out from this fact as to how much concerned he is."