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Minister's remark on poet's cataract operation raises eyebrows


Press Trust of India Indore
Madhya Pradesh Public Health Minister Tulsiram Silawat is in the "eye" of the storm over his reported statement that the state government was willing to bear the expenses of cataract operation of noted Urdu poet Rahat Indori.
Interestingly, the 69-year-old Urdu poet has said he had already undergone cataract operation and was currently recuperating.
It all started when local media reports quoted Indori as saying that he will take "help" from the state government for treatment of his eyes.
The reports appeared after the Congress minister paid a courtesy visit to the ailing poet on the occasion of Diwali here on Tuesday.
"I have no idea how these reports have come out that I am going to get my eye treatment done at the governments expense.
"Actually, my cataract operation had been done several days ago and I am recuperating well, Indori told PTI on Wednesday.
"My eyes have already been treated. I do not need any new treatment at government's expense," the poet said.
Indori, however, admitted that Silawat had talked to him about the treatment of his eyes during the courtesy visit.
"Silawat is an old friend of mine. He had a conversation with a famous eye doctor in Chennai about my eye treatment.
"However, this communication was done during a friendly meeting. It should not be interpreted otherwise," he said.
Meanwhile, Silawat said, "I had discussed with him in a private meeting about the treatment of his eyes. If he wishes, we are ready to get his eyes treated because he is the pride of Madhya Pradesh."

The main opposition BJP latched on the episode to target the health minister and the Congress government.
State BJP spokesperson Umesh Sharma said, "During cataract operations in August in Indore, the hometown of Silawat, it was reported that 15 patients had lost vision in one of their eyes due to infection.
"So it is very unfortunate that the health minister is expressing concern about getting treatment of the eyes of an influential person rather than talking about the well-being of the poor people who are still suffering.
Sharma claimed the states public health services have deteriorated under the Kamal Nath-led Congress government, which came to power in December last year.

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First Published: Oct 30 2019 | 7:10 PM IST

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