The infighting in the ruling Trinamool Congress has come to the fore yet again. This time in the race for key posts in the Medical Council of India, the sole apex body regulating medical institutes across the country.
The jockeying for posts in the premier medical body has reportedly been on from the time the Union government started the process of reconstitution of the MCI.
Trinamool MLAs Sudipto Ray and Nirmal Maji are at the forefront of the latest tussle for power as both have filed nomination for a single post in the MCI under the state quota (election category) system.
The proposed new MCI board is tipped to feature two representatives from each state — one nominated by the government and the other under the election category.
The bitter scrap between two Trinamool MLAs vying for a single MCI post has yet again set off the buzz of an internal feud in ruling party ranks.
While Ray, the former national president of the Indian Medical Association (IMA), is known to have had robust equations with the former top bosses of the MCI, Maji, the newly elected president of the Trinamool-backed West Bengal Medical Council, is deemed close to chief minister Mamata Banerjee. The chief minister also holds the health portfolio currently.
“I have filed nomination for the MCI post under the statewise election quota. I will fight the election with approval of my party leadership and hope the medical fraternity would elect me to the post,” Ray told HT.
However, Maji couldn’t be reached on phone for his views in the matter.
In accordance with the system currently followed in the MCI, an estimated 50,000 registered doctors in Bengal will elect their representative in the apex medical body through postal ballot.
October 22 has been set as the last date for withdrawal of nomination. The Mamata government has already been informed of the same by the Union health ministry, said sources.
“Both MLAs have been busy lobbying the senior leaders of the party in the hope of securing approval of their nominations. The matter now threatens a split in the Trinamoolbacked Progressive Doctors’ Association,” a senior member of the association said requesting anonymity.
Union health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad gave the final seal of approval to the reconstitution of the apex medical body back in May.
RK Srivastava, former director general of health services, has already replaced KK Talwar as the chairman of the board of governors at the council for a six-month tenure. The term of the previous board of governors gave over in May.
The term of the new sevenmember MCI board has been set for six months, during which the body is to hold election for the posts now vacant.
The Parliament recently passed the Indian Medical Council Bill, which proposes to restore an elected MCI board to ward off charges of corruption in the council.