Allahabad: On his first visit to Uttar Pradesh after the assembly poll drubbing, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday flayed the health care scenario in the state, pitched for protecting migrants against ill-treatment and interacted with students and slum dwellers.
Notwithstanding the recent bonhomie between the Congress and the ruling Samajwadi Party, the health care scenario in the state drew sharp criticism from Gandhi.
"Uttar Pradesh is not the easiest place to run a hospital and operating a hospital here is more difficult than in many other parts of the country," the Congress general secretary said.
Accompanied by former Union Minister and senior party colleague Murli Deora, Gandhi made the remarks at a function at the Kamla Nehru Memorial Hospital named after his great grandmother and wife of the country`s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.
The Congress leader`s remarks assume significance in the light of UP`s demand for setting up of four medical institutes in the state on the pattern of AIIMS.
Gandhi also inaugurated a state-of-the-art paediatric cancer ward named after his father Rajiv Gandhi and said he was proud to be in the hospital named after Kamla Nehru on the occasion of her birth anniversary.
He said the hospital was a charitable institution involved in treating cancer "which is a difficult disease to deal with for anybody and a virtual death sentence for the poor".
Gandhi is on the Board of Trustees of the hospital while Deora is its honorary secretary and treasurer.