Patna: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Gopal Narayan Singh on Wednesday reacted strongly on Bihar government’s claim of “shortage of doctors” in their defence to Supreme Court regarding AES deaths.

Talking to news agency ANI, the BJP leader asserted that the shortage of doctors has always been the case with the medical colleges in Bihar, even when Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) Chief Lalu Prasad Yadav was in power. He added that the problem has never been paid attention to, and mere filing an affidavit by the state government would not solve anything.

“From Lalu Ji’s time till today there has been no improvement in the condition of medical colleges in Bihar. There is a shortage of doctors since then, neither has Govt paid attention. Filing affidavit in SC doesn’t solve anything, it is a weakness of Bihar Govt,” Gopal Narayan Singh said.

On Tuesday, Nitish Kumar-led Bihar government filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court on a PIL relating to children’s death from AES in Muzaffarpur district of Bihar. The affidavit talks about poor healthcare facilities in the state and admits “shortage of doctors” across Bihar.

The state told the top court that there are only 5, 205 doctors in government-run health centres against the sanctioned strength of 12, 206. In the affidavit, the Bihar government also said that only 5, 634 nurses were there in government-run hospitals and health centres against the sanctioned strength of 19, 155.

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Meanwhile, the death toll due to the AES has risen to 137 in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur, with 116 deaths reported from SKMCH, 21 from Kejriwal Hospital, ANI reported on Wednesday.