The change of guard at Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) is snowballing into controversy and is affecting the ruling coalition. Health minister Rajendra Singh’s decision to remove former RIMS director Tulsi Mahto and appoint Dr SK Choudhary, a non-teaching cadre, as the new director has not gone down well with many in the coalition circle.
Questions have already been raised on the issue of appointing a non-teaching medical cadre as the director of the state’s premium medical institute. The medical fraternity is considering the move as a violation of the RIMS norms, according to which only a doctor teaching in the college can hold the post. What has further enraged the coalition partners JMM and other political parties is the fact that additional responsibility of Mahatma Gandhi Medical College, Jamshedpur, has also been put on Dr Choudhary’s shoulders, who is also the medical superintendent of RIMS.
Vinod Pandey, a Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) central committee member and party spokesman, said, “Abrupt removal of Dr Tulsi Mahto and putting one man in charges of three important responsibilities is raising questions over the wisdom of the health minister and is inviting disrepute to the government. The chief minister would be apprised of it,” said Pandey.
The Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (JVM) was more scathing in its attack on the appointment. Pradeep Yadav, principal general secretary of the party and leader of the legislator party in the assembly, referring to health minister Singh’s son and youth Congress leader Anup Singh, said, "The father is the minister but the son is de facto ruling the roost in the department, be it transfer, postings or grant of departmental tenders."
Reports of interferences of Anup in departmental affairs are abuzz in the local media. Yadav has demanded strict action by the chief minister against the move.