Ex- union health min’s charges that ‘commission’ was sought in state secretariat for passing his medical bills causes flutter
As per the MLA the bill amounted to approximately Rs 1.5 lakh. The clerk who demanded a commission in the amount, however, didn’t specify the amount of commission.Updated: Mar 06, 2018 20:45 IST
Ruling party MLA and ex-union health minister Sartaj Singh’s charges that commission was sought for clearing his medical bills payment caused a flutter in the government and the party.
As per the MLA the bill amounted to approximately Rs 1.5 lakh. The clerk who demanded a commission in the amount, however, didn’t specify the amount of commission.
The state BJP president Nandkumar Singh Chauhan took exception to Sartaj Singh’s statement saying if he had any grudge he should have shared the same with the party or the government on an appropriate forum.
Finance minister Jayant Malaiya said he would certainly look into the charges after he returns to Bhopal.
Lal Singh Arya, general administration minister (GAD) minister said that matter needed to be investigated properly to establish what had actually happened. “At this juncture, I can’t say beyond this”, he said.
Sartaj Singh, who is BJP MLA from Hoshangabad , told local media persons in Hoshangabad on Sunday that he had recently fallen ill and was admitted in the ICU of a hospital.
“After illness my assistant said that being an MLA, I had the right to reimburse my medical bills. On my directions, my assistant prepared the bills. He called me (from state secretariat) saying that they were not accepting the file related to the medical bills and were asking for a commission. …This has happened in my personal case. What would be happening in case of common people”, he asked.
On Monday, Singh said, “I have been receiving a lot of phone calls. Even collector called me and told me that an inquiry has been started into the issue.”
As per the procedure the medical bill of an MLA or ex-MLA is scrutinized and then cleared by the divisional officer concerned of the medical education department. The bill is later sent to the state assembly for its approval from where it is sent to the treasury department in the state secretariat for clearing the payment. Treasure department falls under the finance department.
When asked who had demanded the commission Sartaj Singh said his assistant who had taken the bill was aware of the same.
Sartaj Singh recently stated that he would not contest the assembly elections in November 2018 as there was no conducive atmosphere in the state. Singh was dropped from the state cabinet in June 2016 over party’s 75 plus age bar norm. He had criticized the BJP central leadership and the chief minister on his being dropped from the cabinet on the ground of age.
Singh, a graduate from Delhi University , started his political journey from local civic bodies in 70s and 80s. He has been five time member of parliament. He had once defeated the Congress veteran Arjun Singh in Lok Sabha election in 1998. He held the portfolio of union health and family welfare minister during the then Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s 13-day government in 1996.
In 2009 Sartaj Singh was made forest minister in Madhya Pradesh. After his reelection as MLA from Seoni-Malwa assembly constituency in 2013, he was made cabinet minister.