Senior Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Raghuvansh Prasad Singh on Wednesday said the party’s leader Tejashwi Yadav might be in England watching the men’s cricket World Cup. He was responding to a question about Yadav’s whereabouts at a time Bihar is dealing with an encephalitis breakout that has claimed the lives of at least 127 children, and a heatwave in which 90 people have been killed in three districts.
“We should check whether he is even here,” ANI quoted Singh as saying. “I have no idea, really. I can only guess that he has gone to watch the cricket World Cup.”
Yadav has been one of the most vociferous critics of the Nitish Kumar-led National Democratic Alliance government, and had recently tweeted about the encephalitis crisis. However, the leader of Opposition in the state has not been seen in public since the Rashtriya Janata Dal’s debacle in the Lok Sabha elections. The Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance swept the polls in Bihar, winning 39 of the 40 parliamentary seats. He was last seen on May 28 at the party’s review meeting of the General Election results, according to a news report published in The Times of India last week. Tejashwi Yadav reportedly did not attend two big family functions, and party leaders have claimed to be unaware of his whereabouts.
Raghuvansh Prasad Singh Singh, meanwhile, called for Nitish Kumar’s resignation on moral grounds. “Since last 15 years to 20 years, children have been dying because of this,” ANI quoted him as saying. “But who takes note of the deaths in rural areas? Around 300 to 400 children have died there. Secondly, every year specialists come here but it has not been found yet why this disease is breaking out. Somebody said it is because of litchi fruit, while the other said it is because of heatwave.”
He also criticised the facilities at the Sri Krishna Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital in Muzaffarpur, saying the doctors were doing their job with limited resources.
Kumar had faced protests on Tuesday during his visit to the hospital. Slogans of “Nitish Kumar go back” were raised while waving black flags at him.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to hear a plea seeking direction to urgently constitute a medical team to treat children suffering from Acute Encephalitis Syndrome. The petition also sought a direction to the Centre to provide necessary medical equipment and other support for effective treatment of children.