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Patient succumbs to politics in Punjab

Gautam Dheer, CHANDIGARH, Dec 3, 2012, DHNS: 0:21 IST
A sort of “dirty picture” politics over replacing photographs of Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal with those of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on scores of ambulances in Punjab proved fatal for a patient who died on Sunday since the ambulance driver allegedly refused to ferry him, apprehending vehicle damage in the wake of the row.

Congress youth workers in the state have been on the prowl for the last few days looking for an opportunity to score "brownie points" by replacing existing photographs of the CM on ambulances with those of the PM. There have been incidents of scuffle between Congress and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) party workers over the issue which prompted the police to provide security to these ambulances to maintain order and avoid damage to property.

Moga resident Sewak Singh, who had to be urgently shifted to Faridkot district for medical intervention, was, however, left helpless as the ambulance driver allegedly declined to transport him, reportedly for want of ‘police clearance for safety purposes’.

It took nearly one-and-a-half hours before the ambulance finally drove out. But by then, it was too late and Sewak Singh breathed his last, his two sons alleged. An inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the veracity of the charges.

Congress leaders justify their act of removing Badal’s pictures saying that the ambulances are a centrally sponsored scheme for which the Punjab government was claiming undue credit.

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