The opposition has slammed the Eknath Shinde-led government over the deaths.
A dirty toilet in a government hospital in Maharashtra's Nanded, where 31 people have died in 48 hours, was cleaned by no less than the dean after an MP from the ruling Shiv Sena instructed him to do so.
After the deaths made national headlines, Shiv Sena (Shinde faction) MP Hemant Patil visited the Shankarrao Chavan Government Hospital on Tuesday and took stock of the situation there. On spotting a filthy toilet, Mr Patil caught hold of the hospital's dean, Shyamrao Wakode, and asked him to clean it.
Videos show the MP standing and holding a pipe as the dean empties the toilet, putting a container, a bottle, and a toilet brush on a window. Mr Patil can then be seen spraying water into the toilet as Mr Wakode, armed with a wiper, directs streams of dirty water into the commode.
On Monday, the hospital had reported 24 deaths in 24 hours and the number rose to 31 in 48 hours on Tuesday. The condition of 71 patients is said to be critical.
Mr Wakode had, on Monday, rejected allegations of medical negligence and said there was no shortage of medicines or doctors. He had said the patients were given proper care, but did not respond to the treatment.
The opposition has trained its guns on the Eknath Shinde-led government in Maharashtra, which is composed of the Shiv Sena (Shinde faction), the BJP and the Ajit Pawar faction of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).
"The BJP government spends thousands of crores on publicity, but there is no money to buy medicines of children," Congress leader Rahul Gandhi asked in a post on X, formerly Twitter.
Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge posted in Hindi on Monday, "The news of the death of 24 patients, including 12 infants, in a civil hospital in Nanded, Maharashtra, is extremely painful, serious and worrying. It is being said that these patients died due to a lack of medicines and treatment. A similar incident took place in a government hospital in Thane in August 2023, in which 18 patients lost their lives."
The Congress chief demanded a detailed investigation and strict punishment for the culprits.
Dr Dilip Mhaisekar, Director, Medical Education and Research, said a committee has been formed to investigate the deaths. Maharashtra Medical Education Minister Hasan Mushrif will visit the hospital on Tuesday.
"I am on my way to Nanded. This should not have happened. There was no shortage of medicines or doctors. We will investigate every death, and anyone found negligent will be punished," Mr Mushrif told news agency ANI earlier in the day.