NEWS
18/06/2019 12:57 PM IST

'How Many Wickets Have Fallen?' Bihar's Health Minister Mangal Pandey Asks During Meet On Encephalitis

Over a hundred children have died in Bihar from acute encephalitis syndrome even as the state government has failed to cope with the crisis.

Hindustan Times via Getty Images

Bihar’s health minister Mangal Pandey has faced widespread criticism as more than a hundred children have died in the state from acute encephalitis syndrome. Now, he has landed into more trouble after ANI tweeted a video of him asking for the score of the World Cup match between India and Pakistan on Sunday, during a state health department meeting on the crisis. 

Kitna wicket hua tha (how many wickets have fallen till now),” Pandey, who is from the BJP, is seen asking reporters. 

Then he is seen worrying about whether the match will get washed out because of the rain. 

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan was also present at the press conference when Pandey asked the question. 

Opposition parties have criticised Pandey, saying he seemed to be more concerned about cricket than children dying in the state. 

Congress leader Randeep Surjewala took to Twitter, asking for the solution to the crisis. 

RJD leader Ram Chandra Purve, according to IANS, also criticised the minister saying, “Pandey was more interested in knowing the cricket score while Harsh Vardhan was telling media persons on their plans to alleviate the situation arising from the encephalitis outbreak.”

Pandey’s callousness over the issue does not end here.HuffPost India reported on Tuesday that Pandey got himself an exclusive ambulance to accompany his entourage as he visited short-staffed hospitals, even though convoy protocol does not allow for it. 

An ambulance manned by a doctor, a nurse, a blood bank technician, an emergency medical technician and a driver was sent to accompany his convoy when he visited Muzaffarpur on 14 June. This was despite the shortage of ambulances for children dying of encephalitis.