Doctors withdrawn from Lalu's residence after opposition hue and cry
Patna, June 13 (IANS) Controversies continue to dog Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad and his family, the latest in the series being deployment of a medical team at the residence he shares with his son and Bihar Health Minister Tej Pratap Yadav.
The medical team was, however, withdrawn after the opposition parties raised a hue and cry over the matter, officials said on Tuesday.
A team of three doctors and two male nurses of the Patna-based Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Science (IGIMS) had been deployed for over a week at 10-Circular Road, the residence officially in the name of Rabri Devi, former Bihar Chief Minister who is mother of Tej Pratap.
Lalu and other members of his family, including his younger son Tejashwi Yadav, who is Bihar Deputy Chief Minister, live there.
According to officials close to Tej Prataap, the medical team was deployed for the treatment of Lalu last week -- May 31 to June 8 -- when he was taken ill.
Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its allies raised the matter and questioned the official rules to deploy a team of doctors at Lalu's residence and also demanded an explanation from the Nitish Kumar-led state government.
However, soon after the issue came to light and the opposition raised questions pointing to Lalu's clout in the state government, the IGIMS ordered withdrawal of the team of doctors from Rabri Devi's house.
IGIMS Superintendent P.K. Sinha told the media that there was nothing wrong in deputation of a team of doctors at the residence of Heath Minister Tej Pratap, who is also Chairman of the IGIMS, an autonomous body.
"Tej Pratap as the Health Minister has the prerogative to call for doctors and ask for deployment of a team of doctors," he said.
Sinha said as the Chairman, Tej Pratap was entitled to the privilege, and that even ministers were entitled to certain prerogatives.
Leader of Opposition Prem Kumar said at a time when common people have been running from pillar to post for treatment at government hospitals across the state, an entire team of doctors was deployed at the Health Minister's residence. "It has exposed the clout of Lalu and his family (in the government)."
Another senior BJP leader, Nand Kishore Yadav also criticised Lalu and his family for "misusing the power".
Expelled RJD MP and chief of Jan Adhikar Party Pappu Yadav said: "Doctors ki nahi jallaadonn ki tainati Lalu ke awas par hona chaahiye. Garibon ko doctors milate nahi lekin Lalu ke liye doctors ki team mil jaati hai (Instead of doctors, executioners should be deployed at Lalu's residence. Poor have no medical facilities, but doctors' team is available for Lalu").
BJP's ally LJP leader Pasupati Kumar Paras also flayed the deputation of doctors, saying while there was so much shortage of doctors in government hospitals, deputation of a team of doctors for his treatment was simply uncalled for.