Apparently upset over the absence of senior doctors at an inaugural function in Chandrapur, Union Minister of State for Home Hansraj Ahir said on Monday that they “should join Naxals” and “we will then shoot you with bullets”. Ahir was speaking at the inauguration of a generic medicine counter at the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) in Chandrapur. The district civil surgeon, Dr Uday Nawade, and dean of the medical college, Dr S S More, were not present at the event.
Speaking in Marathi, Ahir said, “What do the Naxals want? They don’t want democracy. I handle the home ministry, so I know it. These people (referring to the senior doctors) don’t want democracy. So they should join Naxals. Why do you stay here? Go there, then we will shoot you with bullets. Why do you give tablets here? How justified is it to remain absent when I am coming to the hospital.”
When contacted, Ahir said, “I am going to tweet about it in a while. So just wait.”
According to sources, the programme was organised by GMCH, Chandrapur, on the occasion of former Prime Minister A B Vajpayee’s birthday. However, sources added that no official invitations were sent.
When contacted, Dr Nawade told The Indian Express, “I proceeded on leave on December 23 for personal reasons, and will join on December 26. I received the message about this programme late on Sunday evening. I don’t have anything else to say.”
He added that he had sent his leave application to Deputy Director of Health Services (Nagpur division) Sanjay Jaiswal.
But Jaiswal, when contacted, said: “I don’t have any notice from Nawade about his leave. I will inquire into the matter and take appropriate action. Ideally, he should have remained present at the minister’s programme.”
Dr More too said he was “on leave from December 23 to 31”. He added that his deputy and acting dean, Dr M J Khan, was present at the function on Monday. Asked when the programme was finalised, Dr More said, “it was about 15 days ago”. Asked why official invitations were not sent to all concerned, Dr More replied, “please talk to the acting dean.”
When contacted, Khan said that “the programme was organised under the Union Health Ministry’s AMRIT Deendayal programme for setting up generic medical stores across the country.”
Meanwhile, Collector Ashutosh Salil, who also did not attend the function, said he did not receive a “formal invite” for the programme. “I got a WhatsApp message this morning. Normally, when there is a programme of a minister, the Collector has to get a formal invite,” he said.