Yogi’s re­mark on par­ents has Congress call­ing for his head

UP Chief Min­is­ter im­plies peo­ple need to take re­spon­si­bil­ity, not rely on govt for ev­ery­thing AIADMK’s Dhi­nakaran camp will also meet Pres­i­dent, seek CM Palaniswami’s ouster

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A po­lit­i­cal storm has gath­ered af­ter Ut­tar Pradesh Chief Min­is­ter Yogi Adityanath’s re­mark that peo­ple were so ir­re­spon­si­ble as to even con­sider shun­ning re­spon­si­bil­ity of their chil­dren and “leav­ing them to the gov­ern­ment’s care”.

The state­ment has come at a time when in­fant deaths par­tic­u­larly due to en­demic Ja­panese En­cephali­tis in Yogi’s own con­stituency, Go­rakh­pur, are mount­ing.

At a func­tion on Wed­nes­day, the Chief Min­is­ter said: “Falani ja­gah kooda pada hua hai. Ha­mare an­dar civic sense nahin hai. Ham safai karna bhi nahin chahte. Ham yeh mante hain ki na­gar pa­lika ki jimmedari hai .... Jaise ki ham sabhi jimmedari se mukt ho gaye hain. Jaise ham lo­gon ne apni jimmedari sarkar ke upar thel di hai. Mu­jhe to kabhi kabhi kabhi yeh bhi lagta ki ek sa­may ke baad kahin aisa na ho ki log apne bachche jaise ek saal do saal ke honge to sarkar ke bharose chod denge ki sarkar hi inka palan poshan kare. (There is garbage ev­ery­where. We don’t have civic sense. We don’t want to clean up. We be­lieve that only the mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties, cor­po­ra­tions and the gov­ern­ment are re­spon­si­ble for clean­ing. It is al­most as if we are freed of all re­spon­si­bil­i­ties. I fear that a day will come when their chil­dren, when they are one or two years old, will be left in the care of the gov­ern­ment. It would be gov­ern­ment’s re­spon­si­bil­ity to look af­ter them.)”

290 deaths in Aug alone

The state­ment came on a day when PK Singh, Prin­ci­pal of Baba Raghav Das Med­i­cal Col­lege in Go­rakh­pur, dis­closed that a stag­ger­ing 290 chil­dren have died in the month of Au­gust alone, of which 213 died in the neo-natal ICU and 77 in the en­cephali­tis ward. There have been 1,250 deaths since Jan­uary this year at the hospi­tal in the en­cephali­tis, in­fant and chil­dren’s wards.

The Op­po­si­tion was quick to call Yogi out and de­mand his res­ig­na­tion, de­scrib­ing his com­ments on par­ents aban­don­ing chil­dren as “shame­ful”.

Ad­dress­ing a press con­fer­ence in the Cap­i­tal, the Congress’s UP unit chief Raj Bab­bar and Ra­jya Sabha MP Pramod Ti­wari said the “ar­ro­gant and ut­terly in­sen­si­tive” Adityanath should be sacked im­me­di­ately. Op­po­si­tion par­ties and the TTV Dhi­nakaran fac­tion of the rul­ing AIADMK con­tin­ued to mount pres­sure on the Tamil Nadu Gov­er­nor to take ac­tion against the Edap­padi K Palaniswami gov­ern­ment.

An Op­po­si­tion del­e­ga­tion led by the DMK will meet Pres­i­dent Ram Nath Kovind on Thurs­day to de­mand that the Palaniswami-led gov­ern­ment prove its ma­jor­ity in the Assem­bly.

Last Satur­day, DMK Prin­ci­pal Sec­re­tary Du­rai Mu­ru­gan, who led a del­e­ga­tion of op­po­si­tion par­ties, sub­mit­ted a mem­o­ran­dum to Gov­er­nor Ch Vidyasagar Rao urg­ing that Palaniswami prove his ma­jor­ity in the 234-mem­ber House. The State’s prin­ci­pal Op­po­si­tion made this de­mand af­ter 19 mem­bers of the 134-mem­ber AIADMK gov­ern­ment told the Gov­er­nor that they no longer sup­port Palaniswami.

On Au­gust 22, in sep­a­rate let­ters to the Gov­er­nor, 19 MLAs sup­port­ing Dhi­nakaran said they no longer have con­fi­dence in Palaniswami. But they con­tinue to sup­port the AIADMK gov­ern­ment.

Representatives of the Dhi­nakaran fac­tion told the me­dia on Wed­nes­day that they would es­ca­late their de­mand to the Pres­i­dent for re­mov­ing Palaniswami as Chief Min­is­ter in a cou­ple of days if the Gov­er­nor does not take ac­tion.

The group met Chief Whip S Ra­jen­dran to sub­mit their ex­pla­na­tions for meet­ing the Gov­er­nor last week. The Chief Whip had last week rec­om­mended to Speaker P Dhana­pal that the 19 MLAs be dis­qual­i­fied af­ter they made di­rect rep­re­sen­ta­tions to the Gov­er­nor.

The fall­out within the rul­ing party fol­lows the rap­proche­ment be­tween two fac­tions led by Palaniswami and O Pan­neer­sel­vam, the for­mer chief min­is­ter. Pan­neer­sel­vam was sworn in as Deputy Chief Min­is­ter on Au­gust 21. Both have an­nounced their de­ci­sion to oust Dhi­nakaran and his aunt VK Sasikala, the gen­eral sec­re­tary of AIADMK from the party. They have called for a meet­ing of the gen­eral council on Septem­ber 12.

Gov­er­nor faces crit­i­cism

Mean­while, the Gov­er­nor has drawn flak from op­po­si­tion par­ties and the AIADMK’s Dhi­nakaran fac­tion for not tak­ing ac­tion in line with their de­mands.

A del­e­ga­tion of op­po­si­tion par­ties in­clud­ing Thiru­mavala­van of the VCK and com­mu­nist par­ties also met with

Yogi has warned par­ents of lit­tle chil­dren in UP that his gov­ern­ment is not re­spon­si­ble for them...This ar­ro­gant Chief Min­is­ter has no em­pa­thy for the hun­dreds of poor moth­ers and fa­thers who have lost their lit­tle ones

the Gov­er­nor on Wed­nes­day. Fol­low­ing the meet­ing, Thiru­mavala­van told me­dia per­sons that Rao had com­mented that since the 19 mem­bers con­tinue within the AIADMK, the is­sue is an in­ter­nal party af­fair.

“Gov­er­nor Rao told us that un­der the present cir­cum­stances he can­not in­ter­vene and the law does not give room for it,” he told re­porters here.

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