Leader of Opposition Ajay Singh said malnourishment has wreaked havoc in Vidisha which is the Lok Sabha constituency of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.
The Madhya Pradesh government was cornered in the Legislative Assembly today by a clutch of the ruling BJP MLAs, including party veteran Babulal Gaur, when they raised the issues of malnutrition among children and irregular power supply in parts of the state. Gaur, a former chief minister, intervened when Congress’ Nishank Kumar Jain raised the issue of malnourished children, especially in Vidisha, during the Question Hour. Leader of Opposition Ajay Singh said malnourishment has wreaked havoc in Vidisha which is the Lok Sabha constituency of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. Addressing Woman and Child Development Minister Archana Chitnis, Gaur said he wanted to know the reasons behind the rise in the number of malnourished children.
Visibly Hurt by Gaur’s queries on the issue, Chitnis said the number of such children has come down by 28.7 per cent since 2005, when Gaur was heading the government, as a result of a slew of measures taken by the state government. Gaur had served as the chief minister from August 23, 2004 to November 29, 2005. During the proceedings, BJP MLAs Kailash Chawla, Omprakash Shaklecha, Satpal Singh Sikarwar, Narayan Singh Kushwaha, Amar Singh Yadav, Yogendra Nirmal, Parul Sahu tried to corner Energy Minister Paras Chandra Jain seeking his explanation over erratic power supply, especially in rural areas.
In his reply, Jain struggled to pacify his own party members, especially over the replacement of faulty power transformers in rural areas. Interacting with reporters later, Gaur said, “Minister Chitnis became angry when I sought the district-wise number of malnourished kids in Gwalior division. As a public representative, I just wanted to know the cause behind the poor health of children and why our mother and sisters are so weak”.
Quoting Women and Child Development department figures, he said the number of such children stood at 27,375, 30,925, and 28,650 in the years 2014, 2015 and 2016, respectively, in Gwalior district alone. “The department told me that the number of malnourished kids stood at 27,867 in the first six months of 2017, which means the number will go up to 54,000 by this year end,” Gaur told PTI.