Even as the death toll in children succumbing to encephalitis has gone over 80 in Bihar's Muzaffarpur, Union Minister of State for Health Ashwani Kumar Choubey who is from the state celebrated his party BJP's Lok Sabha victory than visiting the area.
When a journalist asked him about his conduct, Minister Choubey lost his cool and displayed shocking high-handedness. He angrily responded and avoided answering the question and said that journalist was trivialising the serious issue in the state adding that he should not make such personal accusation.
The journalist said:
"Union MoS Health Minister Ashwini Choubey hails from Bihar. He did not came since the past 14 days even when kids died everyday. He was busy in his celebration procession. Even we as a journalist cried when kids died but why did the Minister came so late whe he hails from Bihar?"
A visibly rattled Union Minister Choubey responded:
" I have nothing to say beyond what the Dr Harsh Vardhan has said. You are asking a personal question. We have certain limitations. When I came to know about issue I called Dr Harsh Vardhanji and the people from the administration. Dr Harsh Vardhanji had a meeting with me in Delhi. You are trivialising the important issue we are discussing here. The ministries have taken this seriously. I won't feel good if you charge me personally."
Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Sunday visited the district, where 84 children have died due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) in the past fortnight. Seven children died on Sunday, taking the total number of casualties due to AES to 84, health officials said. Seventy three children had died till Saturday night.
Apart from Choubey, Dr Harsh Vardhan was accompanied by Bihar Health Minister Mangal Pandey. He had visited the state-owned Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH).