Amaravati (Andhra Pradesh) [India], December 8 (ANI): TDP National President and former Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Monday accused the YS Jaganmohan Reddy-led Government of attempting to "cover-up" the cause of the mysterious illness that struck people of several areas in Eluru town in Andhra Pradesh's West Godavari district.
Naidu advised Reddy to give his personal attention to the need for restoring normalcy in the West Godavari town without abdicating his immediate responsibility to create confidence in the local people.
Addressing a press conference here, the TDP chief said that it was wrong on the part of the Health Minister to say that there was no water contamination or drainage problems. It was also incorrect to dismiss the symptoms of the affected residents as mass hysteria. By saying so, the Government was abdicating its responsibility at a time when the people badly required all possible help. One person died and over 315 people have fallen ill till now but the State Government was taking it lightly.
"There was prima facie evidence to say that the people were falling ill due to water contamination or air pollution. There might be lapses in drinking water lines getting contaminated with drainage. Or, there might be problems caused by wrong chlorination or improper use of pesticides meant for mosquito control. Under such a panic situation, CM Jagan should have stayed in Eluru for two to three days and given proper leadership," said Naidu.
The Chief Minister preferred to halt for a while in Eluru and then went on his way to attend marriages which was totally unbecoming of a leader in such a crisis situation, he added.
Stating that people of all ages from below 12 years to above 70 years were falling victims, Naidu stressed the need for a deep study of the mystery disease.
The TDP chief questioned why the Chief Minister was still hesitating to impose a health emergency in Eluru so as to initiate all required steps in order to restore normalcy as early as possible.
"This Government had not paid salaries to the outsourced staff in sanitation across the State for many months and also during the alarming coronavirus epidemic time. Even the sanitation staff in Eluru might not have got their dues properly. There was no proper cleaning of water tanks and no proper maintenance of drainages ever since the YCP came to rule," he stated.
The Chief Minister on Monday visited Eluru Government Hospital where hundreds of people were admitted with symptoms of nausea, giddiness and epilepsy since Saturday. The cause of the sickness is yet to be ascertained.
A report released by the district collector said that as many as 340 people fell sick out of which 157 are still undergoing treatment. As per the report, one person has died while 168 have been discharged. 56 doctors including specialists are providing treatment to the patients. Besides, a household health survey has been conducted in 57,863 houses to shed light on the matter. (ANI)