The death of four persons in less than 24 hours, allegedly due to viral fevers, led to dramatic developments and hurling of accusations and charges against each other by the leaders of the ruling Congress and opposition parties on Friday.

Allu Lavanya, 22, Kuramdasu Kondamma, 65, Rayala Ravanamma, 49, and Nalli Narayanamma, 50, all residents of New Rajarajeswaripeta, died on Thursday and Mayor M.V. Ratna Bindu, accompanied by Congress corporators, visited the area to interact with the family members of the deceased.

Holding the ruling party responsible for the deaths, floor leader of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) Ch. Babu Rao, along with his party activists, tried to prevent the visit by conducting an agitation. High drama took place as the CPI (M) activists tried to prevent the Congress leaders and workers from entering the locality. The police deployed in huge numbers in anticipation prevented the CPI (M) activists from staging an agitation and paved the way for the Mayor’s visit.

Interacting with the family members of the deceased, Ms. Ratna Bindu announced that a mega medical camp would be conducted by the VMC at New Rajarajeswaripet. She assured that the civic body would take all steps to prevent the spread of diseases in the city. The residents complained that proper treatment was not available even in the Government General Hospital. The Mayor asked the Chief Medical and Health Officer M. Satyanarayana Raju to conduct an enquiry into the deaths.

CPI (M) city secretary R. Raghu, at a press conference, lambasted the ruling Congress for not taking the Opposition into confidence with regard to initiating measures to prevent the spread of diseases. “The Mayor claims there are no fevers in the city. Had the authorities taken steps to provide medical care, these deaths could have been averted,” he said.

TDP MLA Devineni Umamaheswara Rao, who consoled the family members, criticised the Congress for not taking steps to prevent the spread of viral fevers in the city. He said that as many as 62,000 families in the city fell ill this year and all of them had to go to private hospitals as the GGH woefully lacked facilities. Congress floor leader in the VMC general body Meesala Rajeswara Rao rebutted the charges at a press conference later, where he asserted that two persons died of jaundice and enquiry was going on into one more death. “The opposition parties are trying to create panic among the public for their political benefits,” he alleged.

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