Gorakhpur: At a time when the Centre and Uttar Pradesh government are doing blame games over recurring affliction of Japanese Encephalitis (JE) in the state, the deadly disease has claimed as many as 501lives.

With the death of two more JE patients in Gorakhpur on Tuesday, a total of 501has succumbed to Encephalitis from January, 2011. According to sources, 18 fresh cases of JE were on Tuesday registered in BRD Medical College of Gorakhpur.

Even as the Encephalitis wrecks havoc in the state, the Centre and state are mud-slinging each other for the spurt in the number of patients.

Notably, Union Minister of Health Ghulam Nabi Azad made remark on the dismal condition of the state caught in the grip of JE. Counter attacking Azad, the UP government blamed the Centre for not approving Rs 300 crore project to provide potable water to the eastern belt of the state.