The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leaders will not be attending the dinner called by Prime Minister Narendra Modi because of the deaths of children in Bihar's Muzaffarpur district due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES), said party leader Misa Bharti on Thursday.
The number of dead due to encephalitis touched 117 on Thursday morning in Muzaffarpur.
Talking to ANI, Misa Bharti suggested that the amount spent in organising the dinner could be used in procuring medicines and equipment for treating the children.
"Medicines and live equipment can be procured from the amount that is being spent in organising this dinner," she said.
The dinner is scheduled to take place at the Ashoka Hotel in the national capital. It will be the first time that the Prime Minister will be meeting all the MPs after the new government was formed last month.
As per official data, a total of 98 deaths were reported at government-run Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH), while 19 children died at Kejriwal hospital in the district due to the vector-borne disease till 8 am today.
The Bihar government has announced an ex-gratia compensation of Rs 4 lakh each to the families of the children who died due to acute encephalitis.
The AES is a viral disease that causes flu-like symptoms such as high fever, vomiting and in extreme cases, can lead to coma, brain dysfunction, seizure and inflammation of heart and kidney.