Jharkhand CM refutes starvation as cause of deaths in state

ANI | Updated: Oct 23, 2017 20:25 IST

Ranchi (Jharkhand) [India], October 23 (ANI): Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das on Monday denied that deaths in Simdega and Dhanbad were due to starvation.

This comes after an 11-year-old girl died in Simdega and a 45-year-old man died in Dhanbad. Various reports suggested that the two deaths were result of starvation.

Talking to ANI, Das said that these deaths have saddened the government, but it is not true that they died due to starvation.

"The investigation has revealed that the Simdega deceased's family had an Aadhar Card since 2013 and was taking ration till this February. The thing which was missed was that the ration card was deleted, because it was not linked with the Aadhar card. The incident happened due to the laziness of the officials, who have been suspended," Das said.

He further claimed that the girl was suffering from Malaria which might have been the reason of her death.

"It has also been learnt that the girl was suffering from Malaria. There are also other four children in that family. Now, the question is that if there was no food in the family, how did others survive?" the Chief Minister questioned.

The girl died on September 28 after her mother was unable to feed her. The family was struck off from government welfare rolls for not linking their ration card with the Aadhar card.

Raghubar Das added that the Dhanbad incident was also blown out of proportion.

"The deceased's two sons used to jointly earn Rs. 7,000 - Rs. 8,000 a month. He had been sick for one month."

The victim, identified as Baidnath Das, reportedly could not avail any of the government's schemes for the poor, and hence had no ration to fend his family, which allegedly resulted in his death on Saturday.

A rickshaw puller by profession, Baidnath allegedly underwent a three-year struggle in obtaining a ration card. Fed up after not receiving a response, he applied online for the card. However, before he could complete all the formalities, he passed away, leaving the family behind in a poverty-stricken situation.

However, an official press note from the district administration noted that the cause for death was not starvation, but a prolonged illness. The release also noted that the deceased's son and wife were both earning members of the family.

The Jharkhand Chief Minister also lashed out at the Congress and other Opposition parties by saying that they were doing politics on the dead bodies of poor.

"Years back, the Congress gave the slogan to remove poverty. Ask them that even after all this, who is responsible for all the poverty in India, because the Congress had been in rule for decades. The Congress is busy in family (Gandhi family) worship and the public is removing them from India. On the other hand, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is doing worship of India, and seeing all this, the Congress is baffled," Das said.

He alleged that for last many decades, the Congress only eyed votes in the name of poor.

"I urge the Congress and other parties to not do politics on the unfortunate Simdega and Dhanbad deaths," he said.

He said that his government was using information and technology (IT) to bring transparency in providing the benefit of government schemes to the poor.

"The whole India knows that Jharkhand was known for corruption and middlemen. Our effort is that every government scheme should reach up to the last person of the society. In order to end corruption and role of middlemen in government schemes, our government is using IT to link all subsidy-related schemes with the Aadhar card," Das said.

He further claimed that with the help of the Aadhar linking, the government has managed to save Rs. 225 crore in public food distribution system. (ANI)

iocl