Amid ongoing controversy and opposition attack demanding the resignation of Punjab Health Minister Chetan Singh Jouramajra, Minister Fauja Singh Sarari took note of the incident on Saturday and apologized on his behalf.
His comments came after a video went viral in which Punjab’s health minister Jouramajra instructs the vice-chancellor of Baba Farid University of Health Sciences to lie down on a spoiled mattress.
The medical officer hesitantly follows the instructions of the minister and later the minister lashes out at him for the bad conditions in the hospital wards.
“The minister of state is there to show respect and not to offend. I apologize on his behalf, there should be no interference or pressure from the political leaders on the officers,” said Mr Sarari.
The minister also added that the state government will also take action against corrupt practices and ministers and said “people who have taken bribes will not be spared even if it is former minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu.”
The health minister’s behavior has been criticized by opposition parties targeting the Bhagwant Mann-led government and asking the prime minister to fire the ‘power-drunk minister’.
Opposition leader and congress leader Partap Singh Bajwa condemned the incident.
“The Prime Minister, Punjab, should take serious note of this inappropriate behavior of the Minister in public and give him marching orders. Furthermore, Mr. Arvind Kejriwal, Chairman of the Aam Aadmi Party, should give serious thought and arrange an orientation program for the AAP employees, MLAs and ministers to teach them how to behave in public and avoid spoiling the existing functioning of the government,” said a statement from Mr Bajwa.
Another senior congress leader, Gurjeet Singh Aujla, also asked the chief minister of Punjab to fire the health minister.
“BhagwantMannji, protest dismissal by senior doctors is the result of mental illness and political bankruptcy of the Minister of Health. I propose immediate notice of the actions of the Minister. All our doctors deserve respect and it is the job of @CMOPb to honorably recover,” tweeted Mr. Aujla.
The leaders of Shiromani Akali Dal also called for the resignation of the health minister.
“I request CM Bhagwant Mann to fire the power-drunk Health Minister Jauramajra for misbehaving BFUHS VC Dr Raj Bahadur and to apologize to the famous surgeon, in addition to requesting him to withdraw the resignation. Any delay will demoralize the medical fraternity and endanger health services in Punjab,” tweeted former union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal.
She added that the prime minister should prioritize meeting Baba Farid varsity’s financial requirements and retain top medical professionals rather than push them out.
“Shiromani Akali Dal expresses his solidarity with Dr Raj Bahadur, medical professionals and will not allow them to be mistreated in any way,” she added.
BJP leader Sunil Jakhar called the incident an outrageous act, tweeting: “The treatment of the eminent Dr Raj Bhadur is shameful and totally unacceptable. Funds will restore health infrastructure, not inappropriate behaviour. Very sad that Dr Raj Bhadur has resigned. … Now it’s up to @BhagwantMann to do what any conscientious CM should do: fire the Health Minister.”
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