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Oct 20, 2011 at 01:40pm IST

Encephalitis: Rahul steps in; sends Azad, Digvijaya

New Delhi: In a move that's likely to embarrass the Mayawati government, the Congress on Thursday dispatched two top leaders to Gorakhpur to look into the deaths caused by Japanese encephalitis.

Congress General Secretary Digvijaya Singh and Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad accompanied by a health team are expected to reach Gorakhpur later in the day.

Sources said Rahul Gandhi had asked them to review the situation. The epidemic has claimed over 500 children's lives in the past two months.

CNN-IBN was the first news channel to report on the epidemic, prompting the Opposition to target Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati for splurging on a Dalit memorial park in Noida last week instead of investing in healthcare.