BJP, BJD lock horns over infant deaths in Nagada

Bhubaneswar: Reacting to the affidavit made in the Orissa High Court in which the Jajpur district collector has denied deaths of infants at Nagada village due to malnutrition, Union petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan has, on Monday, condemned the apathy of the Naveen government towards the incident.

The ruling party’s apathy, negligence and irresponsibility towards the deaths in Nagada is a clear sign of its repressed emotions, said Pradhan.

“The Naveen government has failed in discharging its responsibilities in the State. An arrogant and egoistic government can only give a statement like this on children’s deaths,” said the union minister.

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Responding to Pradhan’s allegations, BJD spokesperson Amar Satapathy said the party won with a thumping majority in the panchayat polls in the district which shows people have faith in the government. “The incident should not be politicized,” Satapathy added.

A wave of death swept through Nagada last summer when as many as 19 children died in the village within three months. While opposition parties in the State have been asserting that the children succumbed to malnutrition, the Jajpur collector has claimed the deaths were due to fever, malaria and sepsis in the affidavit.