Jangveer Singh, Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, November 15. The public spat between state Health Minister Madan Mohan Mittal and his BJP colleague and Chief Parliamentary Secretary (Health) Dr Navjot Kaur Sidhu is set to worsen with Mittal making it clear that her post was administrative in nature and that she did not enjoy any powers under the Constitution.
Mittal told The Tribune that said the Chief Parliamentary Secretary (CPS) was only there to assist him and that Dr Navjot should bring problems, if any, to his notice. The minister said all public functionaries derived their powers from the Constitution. “If you work within your powers, there is no clash.”
Asserting that he would not allow anyone to terrorise doctors in the state, he said he had asked the police not to participate in any such raids and seizures in future. He said the CPS should quit acting like a “thanedar”. The minister said: “I want a free atmosphere for doctors working in hospitals. They are highly educated persons. We should behave with them in a civilized way. ” He was apparently referring to the recent sting operation conducted by Dr Navjot in Ropar.
Mittal said he had been told that the CPS had indulged in high-handedness during the alleged sting operation against Senior Medical Officer (SMO) Surjit Singh which was the culmination of a three-day “chor-sipahi” game. He said as the doctor set out of his house, located above a private clinic run by his daughter, he saw a person writhing in pain. As he bent down to attend the patient, “he was held from the shoulder, restrained in a room and even placed in police confinement.”
The ties between the two BJP colleagues are set to sour further with Mittal saying he could not share his files with Navjot as the post of the CPS was not a Constitutional one. “I have taken the oath of secrecy and cannot share my files with anybody except with those whose participation is required,” he said.
Indicating that Dr Navjot was trying to build her image by claiming that she had quit the medical profession for public service, he remarked: “I too was a lawyer and quit practice to serve the people.” Though the minister claimed the issue had not been raised at the party forum, sources said the issue would be adjudicated by party leaders.