Ministers come in for flak in Assembly

Ministers come in for flak in Assembly

Khader under fire over delay in docs' appointment; MLAs angry over 'absence' of eight ministers

Ministers come in for flak in Assembly

 The State government on Thursday faced severe embarrassment in the Assembly when some of the ruling party MLAs joined hands with the opposition in condemning its administrative lapses.

Members cutting across party lines came down heavily on the government for failing to solve the problem of shortage of medical doctors in government hospitals. “Not a single medical doctor was appointed in the last two and a half years. The government has failed miserably. We (MLAs) have not been able to show our face to people in our constituencies,” Congress MLA A S Patil said.

Then several JD(S) and the BJP MLAs stood up and expressed their ire on the issue. They took Health Minister U T Khader to task and accused him of misleading the House on appointing doctors in the past. The minister tried to defend himself, promising that by December this year about 570 MBBS doctors will be appointed. But the angry members dismissed his claims, saying similar assurances by him in the past had not come true. The BJP members demanded that the minister should resign if he fails to fulfil his promise to appoint the doctors by December. The minister should announce this in the House. Otherwise, nothing will happen, they argued. Interestingly, none of the ruling party members, including his ministerial colleagues, came to Khader’s rescue.

Speaker Kagodu Thimmappa said he supports the members’ views on the issue. “I am with them (the members). I know the minister is helpless. I don't want to go into the depth of this problem. More than two and half years have lapsed. Only about two years are left. This is not how a responsible government should function,” he stated.

Kagodu, Congress MLAs, K R Ramesh Kumar and K N Rajanna, and many opposition members demanded that the counselling system for posting doctors should be done away with. Kumar took a dig at the  bidding process the Energy department held some months ago for setting up mini solar power units. The online bidding was closed within a few minutes.

“Can our farmers fill up bid applications within a few seconds? Are they (those who successfully applied) really farmers. It is the most atrocious way of bidding. It is embarrassing for me to associate with people who did it,” he stated, without taking the name of Energy Minister D K Shivakumar.

Earlier, the BJP members and the Speaker took exception to the absence of ministers in the House. About eight ministers had taken permission to keep off the session.

Fire alarm creates panic

The watch and ward personnel in the Assembly on Thursday were thrown into a tizzy when a fire alarm near the entrance gate went off. The personnel searched every nook and corner at the entrance and all the offices in the vicinity, but could not find fire anywhere. They finally discovered that thick smoke emanating from the lounge where a group of members was smoking had set off the alarm.