'How Many Wickets down?': Asks Bihar's Health Minister, Mangal Pandey, in A Meeting On Child Deaths

Bihar's Health Minister, Mangal Pandey asked about the updates about India's Cricket World Cup match on Sunday. Opposition parties were furious and have demanded Mangal Pandey's resignation for being "more interested in knowing the cricket score" rather than dealing with the encephalitis disease.
Bihar's health minister Mangal Pandey, Image Credits: Twitter
India's Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan along with Minister Of State for Health and Family Welfare Ashwini Kumar Choubey and Bihar Health Minister Mangal Pandey held a press meet in Muzaffarpur on Sunday. The press meet was about the pressing issues, including the death of more than 100 children due to encephalitis (AES) since last two weeks and various strategies they should use to ensure that such tragedies don't recur in the future. 

At some point during the press meet, Bihar's Health Minister Mangal Pandey decided to ask the reporters a question which was not at all related to the subject that was being discussed.      

Also Read: Why are 100s of Children in Bihar's Muzaffarpur dying?

A video which was posted by news agency ANI displayed the state minister asking about the latest score in the World Cup cricket match between India and Pakistan, which was taking place in Manchester at that time. "How many wickets have fallen till now?" he was heard asking, to which the reporters answered: "Four wickets."
The opposition parties, which includes the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), the Congress, the Hindustan Awam Morcha (HAM) and the remaining, have demanded Mangal Pandey's resignation for illustrating "insensitivity" at a time when the state was facing a major menace. "Pandey was more interested in knowing the cricket score while Harsh Vardhan was telling media persons on the plans to lighten the situation which was arising from the encephalitis disease," RJD leader Ram Chandra Purve said to the news agency IANS.

HAM spokesperson Danish Rizwan told the State Health Minister's priority was cricket and not the children who were dying from encephalitis. The Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala also expressed a similar opinion on Twitter.

The Twitter users in India also trended with #RIPHealthMinistry after the video was released by ANI.

Here are few of those:

Also Read: Jharkhand Mob Lynching: A Muslim man was beaten up and forced to chant 'Jai Shri Ram', dies in hospital

Also during the press meet, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Ashwini Choubey was caught sleeping and the citizens were furious about it.

However, Mr Ashwini Kumar Choubey had denied the allegations that he was sleeping and he expressed that he was thinking about the situation.

Over 100 children have died of encephalitis in Muzaffarpur over the last 16 days, and 300 others who contracted the disease continue to languish in local hospitals. According to official data, 83 children died at the Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital while 17 lost their lives at Kejriwal Hospital in the Bihar city. 

(With inputs from Agencies)

Also Read: Why are 100s of Children in Bihar's Muzaffarpur dying?

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