Lalu Prasad “raids” hospital on behalf of Health Minister Son
He may be very good in his arithmetic and thus reportedly saved hundreds of thousands in operating Indian Railways in his inimitable style, when he was the Minister of Railways. But as chief minister he did not worry about dividing his personal and political responsibilities. Laluji does not seem to have got over his this habit. Recently while his son, a Health Minister in Nitish Kumar cabinet was away, father Lalu took his responsibility and ‘raided’ a hospital.
Patients and doctors at Patna’s Indira Gandhi Medical Institute were surprised to see Rashthriya Janata Dal Chief Lalu Prasad. Most thought he had come to visit an ailing patient. But the Director of the Institute and other senior doctors soon realised that the former chief minister and the father of the current Health Minister, Tej Pratap Yadav, was on a surprise raid. He approached the patients and started asking them about the services in the hospital. He even inspected several wards. The visit could leave the Nitish Kumar government red-faced as the Opposition BJP is expected to target the ‘extra-constitutional authority’.
Doctors say over the last 10 years, neither Chief Minister Nitish Kumar nor any of his officials have called the hospital for a favour. If any help is required, the request is made through the designated health department officials, a senior doctor said. But Lalu is far from being apologetic about the fact-finding mission to the hospital where he spent several months at a VIP room in 1997, after he was remanded to judicial custody in fodder scam in 1997. “I went to meet a patient in Private Hospital and on the way back stopped at IGIMS to see the conditions,” he told the media. Whatever it might be, the tension between the RJD and JDU is approaching the break-point. Because the war of words between spokespersons of the two parties, is getting more frequent and acrimonious. Recently, when one senior JD(U) member said that Nitishji would be dealing at the national level, Laluji is supposed to have remarked that Nitishji is chief minister of Bihar and he should be in the State. And that he, that is Laluji, will take care of affairs at the national level.
Last week, a senior leader of the RJD—part of the Grand Alliance that trounced the BJP in the state elections—embarrassed the government by directly criticizing the chief minister over the law and order situation. RJD leader Raghuvansh Prasad Singh had said law and order was not good in the state and it was upto Nitish Kumar, who is sitting on the driver’s seat of the government to check further slide. Such tiffs could lead to break-up of the grand alliance.