Congress today staged another walkout from the Himachal Assembly and shouted slogans alleging that there was a scam in awarding the contract for operating the free ambulance service to GVK-EMRI under the Atal Swasthya Sewa Yojana.
The Congress MLAs staged the walkout when Health Minister Rajeev Bindal was replying to a question tabled in the House by Dile Ram (BJP) and Congress MLAs G S Bali and Subash Manglet.
Bindal was giving figures on number of patients who benefited from the free service since January 2011 (1,03,4009,including 21,479 pregnant women),Congress MLA Mukesh Agnihotri along with started raising slogans against Health Minister Bindal.
Congress MLA G S Bali then said that Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal should have been in the House in view of the Oppositions decision to boycott Bindal. Therefore,he said,the Congress was left with no choice but to walkout.
There were serious irregularities in the scheme which is 100 per cent funded by the Centre under National Rural Health Mission (NRHM). Had the Chief Minister been in the House,we would have raised questions to seek the governments response, he said.
Later,Bindal accused the Congress of trying to gain political mileage by raising questions about the scheme,which had revolutionised the rural health sector by providing ambulance service to people living at in far flung areas.
The health minister said that the ambulance service had brought the infant mortality rate in Himachal Pradesh down to 15 per cent and this has been acknowledged by the Union ministry of Health.
This has made the Congress nervous as people are very happy with the service, said Bindal.