Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath on Saturday blamed “internal politics” at the Baba Raghav Das Medical College and Hospital in Gorakhpur for the “negative news” about the deaths of at least 63 infants there last year. Adityanath claimed that the matter had been “blown out of proportion” and that there was no shortage of oxygen at the hospital, News18 reported.

“When I came to know about the BRD [Hospital] deaths, I thought it was a regular news story but then media started reporting the number of deaths increasing from 13 to 59,” he said at a function in Lucknow. “I immediately asked the director general of health, the health minister and the medical education minister to reach the spot and report to me. Next day, I decided to go there myself and came to know that there was no shortage of oxygen. Had it been oxygen shortage, the kids on the ventilator would have died first.”

Adityanath asserted that the “negative news” about the high toll was the result of internal politics at the medical facility. “It was such a sad situation that we had to counsel the doctors to deal with the matter,” he claimed.

Dr Kafeel Khan, who was arrested and jailed in connection with the deaths of infants, had told Scroll.in last month that adults could also have died when oxygen ran out at the hospital.