UP official's remarks draw BJP, Congress ire

Camp

A senior UP official has stoked a controversy by saying nobody dies of cold, remarks that have been attacked as "insensitive" and condemned by opposition parties in the context of deaths of children in Muzaffarnagar relief camps.

Taking exception to the comments by Principal Secretary (Home) A K Gupta, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Friday asked officials to keep a check on their use of words and ensure nobody's feelings get hurt.

"Use of words by officials or partymen, whether it is about the government's drawbacks or the party's achievements, should be such that nobody's feelings get hurt," he told reporters here.

He was replying to a question on remarks of Gupta that no one dies due to cold otherwise people would not have survived in Siberia, one of the world's coldest regions.

Condemning the bureaucrat's comments, opposition parties hit out at the Samajwadi Party government, with BJP saying, "When the administration becomes insensitive, this is what then comes out."

BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said that instead of accepting their fault and making a correction, the authorities in Uttar Pradesh were blaming others and making most insensitive comments.

UP Congress leader Akhilesh Pratap Singh termed the statement as most irresponsible and insensitive.

Taking a dig a Gupta, he said, "If pneumonia does not happen due to cold, what is the reason. Tomorrow, they would say that a person was not killed after being hit by bullet, but due to excessive bleeding."

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah also criticised Gupta for his remark, saying that the bureaucrat should be sent out in the cold with lesser clothes.

"Can't die of the cold!!!! Send him out in a few less clothes and let's see if he isn't singing a different tune pretty damn quick," Omar wrote on micro-blogging site Twitter.com.

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