Amid the rising death toll of children due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) in Bihar, Republic on Tuesday confronted Chief Minister Nitish Kumar while he was in Patna for a felicitation ceremony.
As the Bihar Chief Minister was leaving the venue at the Vidhan Sabha campus in Patna after paying tribute to Anugrah Narayan Sinha on his birth anniversary, Republic TV reporter confronted him and asked him if it is too late that he is visiting the patients in the Muzaffarpur hospital after days of the encephalitis outbreak.
However, Nitish Kumar chose to duck and ignore the question "Isn't it too late?" as he sat in his car and left the venue.
While the Bihar government gave multiple reasons including excessive heat and humidity, hypoglycemia, eating litchis on an empty stomach behind so many deaths in the district, the questions as to why the state or Centre failed to combat this illness still remain unanswered.
As per reports, Nitish Kumar will on Tuesday make his first visit to Muzaffarpur since the outbreak began 17 days ago.
Amid the increasing outrage among the people over inefficiency of the Bihar government in providing a substantial reason or cure to the disease, the Chief Minister of Bihar has been sending his Ministers to visit hospitals in Muzaffarpur district, while he himself has been giving it a miss. Moreover, coming to his defence, a Bihar Minister also stated that Kumar's 'efforts are important not his visits' on Monday.
After facing huge backlash, Nitish Kumar was forced to call an emergency internal meeting to review the situation on Monday in light of the increasing death toll. Meanwhile, both the Center and the state indulged in the blame game, with no accountability from both ends.