A day after triggering a controversy saying the LGBT community were in need of "psychological treatment and counselling", Maharashtra's Health Minister and Shiv Sena leader Deepak Sawant clarified that he was talking about providing counseling for those who have been tested HIV positive.
"It (the LGBT community) was not mentioned, I was just answering a question. I said that there should be a proper counselling for this. I should be tested if I am having HIV+, but without testing you should not have the preconceived idea about the certain group of people," Sawant said.
Several leaders of the opposition strongly condemned Sawant's earlier statement advocating 'psychological treatment' for the LGBT community, urging him to direct his time and energy towards the development of the state rather than creating unnecessary controversies. Terming the statement as 'unwarranted', Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Majeed Memon said that Sawant's remarks had betrayed the 'ignorance' of ministers on the matter. Congress leader Manish Tewari took a dig at Sawant and said that the latter needs a 'psychiatric counseling' for making such a statement.