Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP) chief Upendra Kushwaha on Sunday trained his guns on Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and held the Bihar chief minister responsible for the deaths of over 150 children due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) in the state. Kushwaha added that Kumar must be removed as chief minister to save Bihar. The RLSP chief announced that he will embark on a march on July 2 to seek public support to achieve this objective. Kushwaha's will continue his march till July 6.
Kushwaha is trying to put pressure on the government by raking up with the issue of AES deaths in order to regain his lost political ground. Kushwaha, who was once an ally of JD(U)-led government in Bihar, said that Kumar has failed to take any concrete steps to control the outbreak of AES deaths during the last 14 years of his rule. Kushwaha asserted that he will continue to protest against Kumar till he decides to resign. The RLSP supremo remarked that the positions of doctors are lying vacant in hospitals across the state but the government is not doing anything in this regard.
It may be recalled that RLSP had faced a crushing defeat in recently held Lok Sabha election as the party failed to win even a single seat in Bihar. Though Kushwaha is leaving no chance to attack Kumar, he is not saying anything BJP, which is the alliance partner of JD(U) in Bihar. RLSP's ally RJD has been repeatedly seeking the resignation of Bihar Health Minister Mangal Pandey, who is from BJP, but Kushwaha has not said anything Pandey so far.
Meanwhile, the death toll due to AES has jumped to 173 by Saturday in Bihar. The worst-hit district is Muzaffarpur where a total of 134 children have died due to AES. A total of 20 children have died due to AES in Vaishali, while six children have lost their lives in Begusarai district, five in Samastipur, two each in Motihari, Patna and Bettiah and one each in Bhagalpur and Gopalganj.
AES is a viral disease that causes flu-like symptoms such as high fever, vomiting and in extreme cases, brain dysfunction, seizure, and inflammation of heart and kidney.