Patna: Three doctors from a top government hospital in Bihar were stationed for about a week at the home of state Health Minister Tej Pratap Yadav, the older son of Lalu Yadav, for the treatment of a family member whose identity has not been officially revealed. The hospital, the Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Science (IGIMS), claims that as a minister, Tej Pratap Yadav "will get the preference".
- 3 top government doctors stationed for a week at the minister's home
- Sources say patient being treated was Lalu Yadav - Tej Pratap's father
- Hospital says the minister is entitled to a team of doctors at home
"The Health minister is the chairman of our governing board, we have to send a team if he asks for it, we can't say no," Medical Superintendent PK Sinha said on Tuesday, even calling the move a "humane" thing to do.
Though neither the hospital nor the Yadavs have confirmed it, sources say the patient being treated was Lalu Yadav. Around that time, the 70-year-old former Chief Minister had skipped a visit to Chennai for DMK chief M Karunanidhi's birthday on account of his health.
The doctors who were on duty at the Yadav home in Patna from May 31 to June 8 were the hospital's three top physicians - head of general medicine Naresh Kumar, additional medical superintendent Krishna Gopal and deputy medical superintendent Aman Kumar. A few other hospital employees were also at the 10 Circular Road home that Mr Yadav shares with his parents Lalu Yadav and Rabri Devi and brother Tejashwi, Bihar's Deputy Chief Minister.
The hospital is autonomous, but it has defended Tej Pratap Yadav's entitlement to a team of doctors at home. "As chairman, he is entitled to the privilege. Ministers also get preference," Mr Sinha told reporters.
Asked to confirm that Lalu Yadav was the patient being treated by the three doctors, Mr Sinha said, "I will not disclose who it was. Doctors have taken a Hippocratic oath... it is their duty to treat."
Sources claimed that Lalu Yadav was reluctant to go to the hospital because it "creates panic" and speculation.
In April, Tej Pratap Yadav was sharply criticized for having a fully-equipped ambulance with paramedical staff stationed outside his home. As media reports emerged, the ambulance vanished.
The Yadavs, whose RJD co-governs Bihar with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's party, have been in the media glare over controversial land deals. Lalu Yadav, his sons and daughter Misa Bharti are being investigated over allegations that they acquired large tracts of land with benami or proxy ownership when Yadav senior was a union minister.