The government’s move to sort out the issues related to the takeover of the Pariyaram Medical College is likely to be delayed further on account of the Cooperation Department’s indifference in implementing the United Democratic Front’s (UDF) political decision to oust the incumbent managing committee and to order an inquiry into the corruption charges against it.
The UDF high power committee, the other day, directed the State government to complete the process of weeding out bogus membership in the Kerala State Cooperative Hospital Complex and Centre for Advance Medical Services (as Pariyaram Medical College is officially known) as per the directions of the High Court before December 31.
The UDF leadership’s anticipation is that the incumbent managing committee of the society, controlled by the CPI(M), would lose its majority once the weeding out is completed, facilitating the appointment of a government-controlled administrative committee.
The UDF, while it was in the opposition, had raised a hue and cry over the manner in which the CPI(M) wrested control of the managing committee of the college in 2007. But it was not able to take political steps to regain control in the last 18 months it has been in power owing to the divergent perceptions in the UDF on the way forward.
Cooperation Minister C.N. Balakrishnan had made it clear that he favoured a government takeover. Communist Marxist Party’s M.V. Raghavan, who is one of the founders of the medical college, however opposed a government takeover. The differences led to the appointment of a sub-committee (headed by Mr. Raghavan), which submitted a report favouring the ouster of the CPI(M)-controlled managing committee. Three weeks ago, the UDF leadership ratified the panel report and directed the Cooperation Department to complete its inquiry into the bogus membership within December 31.
Sources said the Cooperation Department had not taken any serious steps to get the inquiry by the Registrar of Cooperative Societies completed before December 31. Significantly, the UDF, while deciding on the bogus membership issue, did not spell out its stand on the government takeover. This had given leverage for the Cooperation Department to go slow on the membership issue, sources said. The Finance Department has also opposed a government takeover of the medical college on account of the additional financial burden.