Akhilesh warns officials after ‘no one dies of cold’ remark

UpCM Akhilesh Yadav with his ministers after a Cabinet meeting in Lucknow on Friday. Vishal Srivastav

A day after IAS officer Anil Kumar Gupta stirred a controversy with his "nobody ever dies of cold" remark in the context of children's deaths in Muzaffarnagar relief camps, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav Friday told officers to "control their tongue" and "check their language" while speaking in public or in front of cameras.

Principal Secretary (Home) Gupta, while claiming no child died due to the cold at the camps, on Thursday said: "According to reports there are cases of pneumonia. No death has been reported due to cold. No one ever dies of cold. If people die of cold, then no one would be alive in Siberia. Due to cold, you get pneumonia and other things follow."

After a cabinet meeting Friday, Akhilesh took exception to Gupta's remark and said: "It is necessary to have control over the tongue. Today is the world of TV and cameras, everything is recorded and then things go out of our hand to the hands of media."

"Be it officials or partymen, while speaking about drawbacks or achievements of the government, they should keep a check on the use of words so that nobody's feelings are hurt. They should convey the point of the government instead of putting the government in the dock," the Chief Minister said.

When asked if he would remove Gupta, he said: "Ab ho gaya (enough on this)."

Akhilesh also supported SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav's theory that "conspirators" were living in the relief camps. "I have come to know announcements are being made about distribution of blankets on FM radio and that blankets for distribution to victims are being gathered at a mall. Now, it is up to you to find out the truth," he said.

The comment

"No death has been reported due to cold. No one ever dies of cold. If people would die of cold, then no one would be alive in Siberia. Due to cold, you get pneumonia and other things follow."

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