A day after transport minister GS Bali invited suggestions from public and political parties to improve the state's fiscal health, health minister Kaul Singh Thakur on Tuesday outrighly refused to attend a crucial meeting of the recently constituted sub-committee on resource mobilisation.
“I have already resigned from the cabinet sub-committee and one thing is clear that I will not attend its meeting,“ Thakur categorically said while talking to reporters on the sidelines of signing of an MoU with EMRI GVK for running a service for transportation of mother and infants from the hospital to home.
“I have resigned from the committee. It is for the chief minister to decide whether he has accepted my resignation or not,“ said Thakur who has been upset over the way the government reversed the cabinet decision wherein he was made the head of the sub-committee.
Irrigation and public health minister Vidya Stokes was later made the head of the sub committee comprising health minister Kaul Singh Thakur, transport minister GS Bali and industries minister Mukesh Agnihotri. The other two members were chief secretary P Mitra and principal secretary finance, Dr Shrikant Baldi.
The meeting of the panel, which was scheduled to take place on Tuesday, has now been postponed to September 12. Bali, who at one time had asked chief minister Virbhadra Singh to spare him from the cabinet sub-committee, had on Monday invited suggestions from public to improve the state's economic situation, which is in the doldrums .
Thakur, who is backed by a faction of legislators, was more guarded when questioned about the state's fiscal health. “As far as the health department is concerned, it's in very good health , but it's only the principal secretary (finance) who can tell you better about the state's financial health,“ said Thakur while he parried questions on the brewing discontent among a section of Congress legislators.
When his attention was drawn to the decision of Gagret legislator (Cong) Rakesh Kalia to resign as head of the grievance committee, Bangana, and from the membership of the board of governors of two private universities (Arni and Chitkara), Thakur cautiously responded, “I cannot comment. It may be someone's personal opinion”.
Kalia, who is also AICC secretary, had earlier quit from the post of chief parliamentary secretary. He had accused chief minister Virbhadra Singh's son Vikram Aditya, the state president of Youth Congress, and his colleague Chintpurni legislator Kuldeep Kumar of interfering in the day-to-day affairs in his constituency.