Baran: Congress Monday took on the Vasundhara Raje government in Rajasthan over reported cases of malnutrition deaths in her son's Lok Sabha constituency, saying that the Chief Minister has left the tribal population here at "God's mercy"
Hunger and malnutrition cases have been reported among the tribal Sahariya community in Baran with the matter having come to national attention due to several hunger deaths over the last 12 years.
"While on Sept. 16, there were 23 such cases of children admitted at the government hospital here, that number today is 87," Congress's state president Sachin Pilot told PTI. Baran is the Lok Sabha constituency of Raje's son Dushyant Singh.
The Sahariyas, concentrated in Baran district, are one of the most backward tribes of the state.
The Raje government had in its previous term introduced a scheme to provide 35-kg wheat at subsidised rates to the community.
The Ashok Gehlot-led Congress government which had succeeded her had brought in a bigger package, which included ghee, edible oil and pulses, among others, for the community.
"These tribals have not received the free foodgrains, ghee, dal and oil for the last nine months. Raje has scrapped that scheme, leaving the 90,000-strong tribal population in the district helpless and in God's hand," Pilot said today as he visited the area.
Fresh from his party's success in the recently held by-polls in the state, Pilot met with the families of the children who reportedly "died" due to malnutrition. "Official figures are 5-6, actual figures could be around 20-30," he claimed.
The issue of deaths of children due to malnutrition or hunger in Rajasthan was recently taken up in the state Assembly with the government denying that any such instances had come to light.