Lalu shifted from ward over virus threat

RJD chief Lalu Prasad in Ranchi on Wednesday.  

Imprisoned Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad was on Wednesday shifted from the paying ward of the Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) in Ranchi, Jharkhand, to the official residence of the hospital director located on the premises due to the fear of COVID-19 infection.

Opposition BJP leaders alleged that Mr. Lalu has been getting “preferential treatment” ever since the JMM-Congress-RJD mahagathbandhan government has come to power in Jharkhand.

“Mr. Lalu has often been seen using a mobile phone and holding meetings with RJD leaders at the hospital. Now he has been shifted to a bungalow to be protected from COVID-19 infection, while other patients are left at the hospital,” said Jharkhand BJP leader Kumar Sarangi. BJP State spokesperson Pratul Shahdeo said, “Now the bungalow will be the headquarters of RJD where Bihar poll strategies will be discussed.”

Earlier, after three caretakers of Mr. Lalu tested positive for COVID-19 on July 25, the doctors treating him had submitted a proposal to the hospital authorities to shift him to an isolated area.

The hospital authorities decided to shift Mr. Lalu to the official residence of the RIMS director. The residence, known as Kelly’s Bungalow, has been was vacant for some time after the former director, Dr. D.K. Singh, was relieved from his position. The British-era bungalow was considered suitable for security reasons as well. The Ranchi City Superintendent of Police had also made an inspection of the place.

“Lalu Prasad was on the first floor at RIMS where the second and third floors are being used to treat COVID-19 patients. Three of his caretakers tested positive, so I had suggested to move him,” Dr. Umesh Prasad said in Ranchi. Dr. Prasad has been looking after the RJD leader’s treatment at RIMS.

So far, Jharkhand has registered over 14,000 COVID-19 cases.

A photo of Mr. Lalu, talking to someone over phone, and a Jharkhand Minister sitting in hospital corridor had gone viral on social media. Mr. Lalu has been meeting people, including his family members, at his hospital ward every Saturday. He has also been attacking the Bihar government through tweets.

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Printable version | Dec 5, 2020 12:27:27 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kolkata/lalu-shifted-from-ward-over-virus-threat/article32280702.ece

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