Opposition parties called for the resignation of Punjab Health Minister Chetan Singh Jouramajra on Friday after he forced a vice chancellor to sleep down on a dirty mattress during a visit to the Guru Gobind Singh Medical College and Hospital.
Dr Raj Bahadur, the vice-chancellor of Baba Farid University, resigned following the minister’s visit. The minister’s behaviour sparked criticism from opposition parties, who called on the Bhagwant Mann-led administration to fire the “power-drunk minister.”
Partap Singh Bajwa, the Politician of the Opposition and a Congress leader, criticised the event.
“The Chief Minister, Punjab should take a serious note of this unbecoming behaviour of the minister in public view and give him marching orders. Further, Mr Arvind Kejriwal, Convenor of the Aam Aadmi Party, must ponder sincerely and arrange an orientation programme for the AAP workers, MLAs and ministers to make them learn how to behave in the public and avoid spoiling the existing functioning of the government,” read a statement issued by Bajwa.
Another senior Congress leader Gurjeet Singh Aujla also asked the Punjab CM to sack the health minister. “BhagwantMannji, protest resignations by senior doctors is the result of feeble- mindedness and political bankruptcy of the health minister. I suggest an immediate notice of the Minister’s actions. All our doctors deserve respect and it’s the job of @CMOPb to restore it honourably,” tweeted Aujla.
Shiromani Akali Dal leaders also sought the resignation of the state health minister.
“I request CM Bhagwant Mann to dismiss the power-drunk health minister Jauramajra for misbehaving with BFUHS VC Dr Raj Bahadur and tender an apology to renowned surgeon besides requesting him to withdraw the resignation. Any delay will demoralise the medical fraternity and jeopardise health services in Punjab,” tweeted former union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal.
She added that the chief Minister should prioritise meeting the financial requirements of Baba Farid varsity and retain top medical professionals instead of pushing them out.
“Shiromani Akali Dal extends solidarity with Dr Raj Bahadur, medical professionals and will not allow them to be mistreated in any manner whatsoever,” she added.
Calling the incident a shameful act Bharatiya Janata Party leader Sunil Jakhar tweeted, “The treatment meted out to distinguished Dr Raj Bhadur is shameful and totally unacceptable. Funds will fix health infrastructure, not uncouth behaviour.
Very sad that Dr Raj Bhadur has resigned… Now it’s for @BhagwantMann to do what any conscientious CM ought to do-sack the health minister.”
The incident came to light after a video of Punjab Health Minister Jouramajra telling the vice-chancellor of Baba Farid University of Health Sciences to lie down on a ruined mattress went viral.
The old medical officer can be seen nervously obeying the minister’s directions, and the minister afterwards chastised him for the terrible conditions of the hospital wards.