The 'proposed move' of the government to shift two medical colleges planned at Chhindwara and Shivpuri, may snowball into a major controversy in the coming days.
Though Narottam Mishra, minister for medical education, refused to give any categorical reply when asked on the proposal, the Congress has accusing the BJP government to have scuttled the Centre's proposal. The two proposed medical colleges.
Notably Chhindwara and Shivpuri — are the constituencies of high-profile Congress leaders Kamalnath and Jyotiraditya Scindia — the only Congress leaders to have retained their seats in 2014 Lok Sabha election.
The move is being seen as 'political vendetta' of Shivraj Singh Chouhan government against electorate who returned Congress MPs, frustrating Mission-29 of the chief minister. Chouhan had set Mission-29 target for his government and party in 2014 Lok Sabha election i.e. winning all the Lok Sabha seats from MP.
Scindia, who is opposing the move tooth and nail, not only raised the issue in Lok Sabha during zero hour on Wednesday but also met the Union health minister J P Nadda seeking his intervention and not allow the Chouhan government to shift the two colleges. In a press statement he said that Nadda had assured him that he would talk to MP government in this regard.
In an earlier statement, Scindia had said that the Chouhan government was setting a very bad precedent by transferring medical colleges from Shivpuri and Chhindwara to Seoni and Satna. He said if government wished to open medical colleges at Seoni and Satna he has no issues with it but not at the cost of Shivpuri and Chhindwara.
In fact, the UPA government in the last leg of its rule had sanctioned seven medical colleges in the state at relatively smaller towns including Shahdol, Vidisha, Ratlam, Khandwa, Datia, Shivpuri and Chhindwara.
Congress state president Arun Yadav accused the state government of unnecessarily 'politicising' the issue just to teach people who voted for Congress leaders a lesson.
He further said that raking up an unnecessary controversy over Centre-sponsored project to set up seven medical colleges was entirely against the interest of the state, which is facing acute shortage of doctors, where there is just one medical college at the population of each 70 lakh people and only one doctor at the population of each 17,811 people.
When asked, Narottam Mishra, reacting to the question quipped, "Who told you?" When told that Scindia had raised the issue in Lok Sabha, he said, "Ask him, where did he got this information from?" In reply to a question whether he meant there was no proposal to shift the colleges, he went silent and then disconnected the phone.
On the other hand, top officials of department of medical education confided that colleges at Shivpuri and Chhindwara have not been shifted but shelved. "Only five medical colleges have been finalised. They are at Shahdol, Vidisha, Ratlam, Khandwa and Datia," said an official on the condition of anonymity.