Now, Kerala Speaker caught in ‘expensive specs’ row

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Thiruvananthapuram, Feb 3 (IANS) While the controversy over Kerala Health Minister K.K. Shailaja sporting spectacles worth Rs 28,000 has died down, Assembly Speaker P. Sreeramakrishnan has run into a similar row.

RTI documents reveal that Sreeramakrishnan has even more expensive spectacles — priced at Rs 49,900, which includes Rs 45,000 for the glasses and Rs 4,900 for the frame.

The costs of the spectacles of both the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leaders have been reimbursed by the state government.

“I found it difficult to sit in the Assembly as I was unable to see properly and I had to often move my head to look from one side to the other,” Sreeramakrishnan said on Saturday.

“I also had trouble climbing steps. So my doctor then advised me to get a better glass and I did that.”

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The controversy came to light after media reports showed Kerala legislators claiming medical reimbursements running into lakhs.

When Shailaja’s expensive spectacles and the medical reimbursement of her husband became news, they had a tough time defending it.

RTI activist V. Binu told the media that it’s unfortunate that the Speaker, who has to ensure clearing of medical bills of the 140 legislators, himself has not showed any restraint in spending taxpayers’ money.

Kerala legislators are eligible for reimbursement of their medical bills and also for their immediate family members.

–IANS

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