Mansukh Mandaviya faces heat over picture with ailing Manmohan Singh

  • The Congress slammed the Union health minister for bringing in a photographer into the ward against the family's wishes. Manmohan Singh's daughter said that her mother was "very upset".
Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya at AIIMS to meet former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, in New Delhi on Thursday.(ANI)
Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya at AIIMS to meet former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, in New Delhi on Thursday.(ANI)
Published on Oct 15, 2021 10:31 PM IST
Copy Link | Written by Sharmita Kar | Edited by Poulomi Ghosh, New Delhi

Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya’s visit to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) to enquire about former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh’s health drew flak on Friday over a picture that was allegedly taken inside the ward without the family’s permission. The Congress slammed the health minister for the act, accusing the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of always looking for a "photo op".

The party’s attack came after former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's daughter, Daman Singh, accused Mandaviya of getting a photographer against the wishes of the family. She told ThePrint that her mother was “very upset” and when she insisted that the photographer leave the room, "she was completely ignored".

Daman Singh said her parents had expressly insisted that visitors be restricted as her father was suffering from dengue and his immunity was low, increasing the risk of infection.

“It was nice of the health minister to visit and express his concern,” Daman was quoted as saying by ThePrint, adding, “However, my parents were in no state to be photographed at the time.”

"My parents are trying to cope in a difficult situation. They are elderly people. Not animals in a zoo," she said.

Meanwhile, the Congress has demanded that the health minister apologise.

"Everything is a ‘Photo Op’ for BJP. Shame on Health Minister, who made a visit to meet Former PM in AIIMS, a ugly ‘PR Stunt’," Congress' chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said in a tweet. "This is.. Negation of every ethical norm, Breach of ex-PM’s privacy, insult of established tradition, reflects absence of basic decency. Apologise now!" he added.

Rajya Sabha MP and senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh also slammed the BJP saying “photo op” is the “hallmark of the Modi government”, while Congress leader Manickam Tagore said the minister's actions were a "serious breach of privacy".

Tagore said he will write to President Ram Nath Kovind to ask Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his ministers to stop these "petty things".

Senior Congress leader Abhishek Singhvi also reacted to the picture, saying: "I know you all are concerned about the health of former PM Manmohan Singh but kindly do stop sharing photos of him from his hospital bed. It's invasion of his and his family's privacy and not good conduct in any way."

Singh was admitted to the AIIMS in Delhi on Wednesday evening after he complained of fever and weakness. The 89-year-old Congress leader is currently admitted to a private ward in the cardio-neuro centre of the hospital and is under the care of a team of cardiologists led by Dr Nitish Naik.

The former prime minister had contracted Covid-19 in April, when the second wave of the pandemic was at its peak in Delhi. He was fully vaccinated against the disease.

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Tuesday, December 07, 2021