The Congress government seems to have given in to thedemands of managements of private medical colleges

Managements of private medical colleges appear to be dictating terms to the State government. Secretary of the department Rashmi V. was “forced to go on leave” when she refused to give in to demands of managements against whom she had ordered a probe. Most medical colleges are owned by influential politicians and some of them are Ministers in the Congress government. The IAS officer initiated several steps to clean up the MBBS admission process.

Unhappy with the changes to an agreement on seat-sharing and fee structure, the government succumbed to pressure from managements and directed the IAS officer to “go on leave for four months”. A day before she went on leave, the official next in command in the department was transferred. Medical Education Minister Sharan Prakash R. Patil played down the issue and said “no official direction” was given to her to “go on leave”.

Vidhana Soudha wears a deserted look

The Vidhana Soudha, usually a beehive of activity, is deserted these days owing to the enforcement of the poll code. With hardly any visitors, file clearance has become less tedious for officials. The focus has shifted to party offices, particularly of the ruling Congress where there has been hectic lobbying for ticket. With several Ministers away in their constituencies for campaigning, the attendance of officers on deputation in the Ministers’ offices is also thin. Top officials said work will be much more relaxed for the next two months as elected representatives will be busy with the elections. The few police personnel posted at the gates of the Secretariat are also a relieved lot. On the other hand, contract workers are busy refurbishing rooms and removing old furniture. With both Houses adjourned sine die, hardly any legislators can be seen in the corridors of power.

Not so magnanimous

Though politicians are magnanimous towards mediapersons most of the time, it is not always the case.

On finding out that two television journalists were planning a sting operation, Energy Minister D.K. Shivakumar laid a counter trap and had police personnel in plainclothes waiting for them. When the journalists posing as representatives of a power company offered him a ‘gift’ at his residence, he told them to hand it over to his ‘department personnel’, who dutifully received it and arrested the journalists.

Mr. Shivakumar, who has a good rapport with the media, said he had nothing against the two journalists; he wanted to catch the big fish. It is a political party that wanted to ruin his political career, the Minister claimed. He is now set to take the issue to its logical end even as the television channel has been airing a series of stories in support of the journalists who are out on bail.