CHANDIGARH: The ongoing stand-off between the Punjab Health Minister, Madan Mohan Mittal and his Chief Parliamentary Secretary, Navjot Kaur Sidhu escalated further on Thursday when Mittal advised Navjot to function within the limits imposed by rules and regulations of her job.
Talking to newsmen here, Mittal said that the role of each and every member of the council of ministers was defined under the Constitution of India. “While my post as a Cabinet minister is a Constitutional post, that of Navjot Kaur Sidhu as Chief Parliamentary Secretary is an administrative post. She has no role to play as far as the government’s routine work is concerned”. He also said that he would not share any office file with her because when he was sworn in as a minister, he also took an oath of secrecy not to disclose official secrets to any person not authorized under the Constitution.
Reacting to the demand by Navjot that the Minister should spell out in writing about the role she had to play in the government, Mittal said there was no need for him to do so because it was all laid down in the Standing Orders of the government. “All that she has to do is to ask her PA to fetch a copy of the Standing Orders and study them. Everything will become clear to her”.
Mittal reiterated his opposition to the practice adopted by Navjot to organize sting operations for entrapping government doctors doing private practice or otherwise remaining absent from duty. “This is not her job. If she receives any complaint against any doctor, it should be brought to my notice. We will then ask the Secretary to examine it and take necessary action. We are not supposed to organize raids on our own, catch doctors, have them arrested and make a public spectacle of ourselves”.
Mittal said he had already told the Director-General of Police not to respond to calls by CPS for police action in such matters because under the law, she was not authorized to conduct raids and seek police help. He had also requested government doctors not to overreact to the acts of omission and commission by Navjot. “Doctors represent a highly educated class and should not be treated in a shabby manner. I don’t want them to work under pressure, in terror of Navjot or someone else”, Mittal said.