New Delhi: While the whole nation sat up and took note of the rising number of deaths in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur because of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES), a JDU MP sought to make light of it on Tuesday.

Speaking to ANI at Parliament, JDU MP Dinesh Chandra Yadav said, “Muzaffarpur incident (death of 108 children due to AES) is unfortunate, since many years whenever summer season comes, children get sick and the number of deaths becomes big. It happens, government also makes arrangements. Once the rains start, it will stop.”

The statement is from a lawmaker from the state which has seen 108 deaths due to AES. Yadav also went on to defend state Health Minister Mangal Pandey for asking the cricket score during a meeting on the AES outbreak. While Pandey attracted the country’s ire for displaying apathy while a matter as grave as the one at hand was being discussed, in his defence, Yadav said, “During India-Pakistan matches, there’s nationalism in people’s heart, they want India to win. They did everything seriously in the meeting and asked for score in between, the Opposition’s allegations aren’t true.”

India was playing Pakistan on Sunday when, during a meeting on the AES outbreak, Pandey asked how many wickets had fallen. The video went viral soon after and Pandey was heavily trolled.

Earlier in the day, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar visited Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital from where most deaths have been reported. Later, Dr S K Shahi of the hospital told media, “The Chief Minister met the patients and their relatives. He was satisfied with the present medical treatment being provided and ordered us to release a bulletin daily at 3 PM. He was pained by the fact that adequate facilities for treatment were not available here.”

Protests were also being held outside SKMCH while the CM was visiting the hospital.