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Venugopal's appointment inappropriate, no ego clash

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, July 7: Facing flak from various quarters for dismissing AIIMS Director P Venugopal, Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss today clarified that it was the collective decision of the Institute Body of AIIMS to improve administration of the premier institute which has become a ''political hub instead of medical hub.'' ''I have no ego clash with Dr Venugopal as he is just a director of one of the institute under my ministry,'' Dr Ramadoss said and added the decision was passed by a 12 to 3 majority at the Institute Body's meet.

Terming the appointment of Dr Venugopal as AIIMS Director for five years as ''inappropriate'', he said Dr Venugopal was appointed at the age of 62 when he had attained the age of retirement.

Refuting the charge of Dr P Venugopal being humiliated at the meeting, the health minister said, ''Nobody mistreated anyone.

If the Institute Body has something on its agenda, individual concerned was asked to leave as only then frank discussion could take place. I had asked Dr Venugopal to sit in my room and wait.'' Asserting that Dr Venugopal was given a chance to explain his viewpoint on the charge of violating code of conduct, the minister said that the AIIMS director read the same statement that he had earlier made at a meeting in AIIMS and claimed that he had said nothing against the government though the statement criticised the ministry.

About the issue of Dr Venugopal's sacking not being on the agenda, Dr Ramadoss said that as the President of Institute Body he had the power to bring agenda unlisted. It is legal.

However, he refuted the charge that Dr Venugopal has been sacked. ''He is still the AIIMS Director. The Institute Body has made the recommendation which will be considered by the cabinet where a collective decision would be taken by the ACC (Appointments Committee of the Cabinet).'' Asked when the matter would come up before the ACC, he said that there was no time frame for it. ''The government has given the undertaking that it would not consider the issue till the court gives it verdict on Friday (today). Everything has to be legally valid as I am bound by the process of law and what the court says.'' Asked about the possibility of the cabinet not accepting the Institute Body's recommendation, he said, ''I will accept it.

I have no ego on this issue.'' He denied that his party PMK was pressurising the government for removing Dr Venugopal and said that his party had nothing to do about it.


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