The government suffered a major embarrassment in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday when Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss had to withdraw a bill granting autonomy to a post-graduate medical institute in Puducherry after the CPI-M’s Brinda Karat pressed for an amendment to ensure the existing fee structure would not be altered.
Given the reservations of certain members on the Jawaharlal Institute of Post-Graduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER), Puducherry Bill, 2007, Ramadoss sought an hour to discuss the issue with his Cabinet colleagues. He then once again sought passage of the bill, saying the bill couldn’t have a provision for fixed fee structure but such a provision could be incorporated in the rules. Karat said she couldn’t withdraw the amendment.
SS Ahluwalia (BJP) then said his party would press for a division if the government refused to accept the amendment. In such a situation, “I will take it (the bill) back to the Cabinet”, Ramadoss said. Parliamentary Affairs Minister PR Dasmunsi said the situation was unfortunate as it was the first time a bill, after being scrutinized by the Parliamentary Standing Committee and Cabinet, was being sent back to Cabinet.