Kerala Health Minister KK Shylaja is courting controversy after she reportedly purchased a pair of spectacles for Rs 28,000 and then reimbursed the cost from the government exchequer.
The minister has declared that she will come forward and apologise if any wrongdoing is found on her part.
“I have a serious eye condition. Instead of buying a pair of glasses every year, my doctor suggested I invest in a good pair of lenses that will last me. With the expensive lens it was necessary to buy a compatible frame,” she said.
The health minister, who is already facing allegations of faking medical bills, said that the bill had been submitted through proper channels.
The state Bharatiya Janata Party general secretary K Surendran alleged that Shylaja had claimed medical bills using fake documents, wrongly claiming her husband – a retired government servant – as her dependent.
The state BJP has demanded her resignation over the issue.
“If KK Shylaja has any respect for public life she should resign on her own. If not, the Chief Minister should sack her from the Cabinet,” Kummanam Rajasekharan, the state BJP President, told The New Indian Express.
In a statement issued to the newspaper, Kummanam accused the minister of violating the oath of office and committing a crime.
He also alleged that Shylaja was treated in a private hospital and was demanding reimbursement for the same. “It is a shame the Health Minister, who has been taking pride in the high standards of the public health system in the state has opted for treatment from a private hospital. Shyalaja represents the Communists whose words and deeds do not match,” Kummanam said.