The decision of the Institute Body of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) to recommend the removal of director Dr P. Venugopal for alleged violation of conduct rules throws the spotlight firmly on the Union health minister Dr Anbumani Ramadoss who had made it his mission to get rid off the AIIMS chief after the anti-quota protests on the campus of India’s premier medical institution.
However, the move to sack Venugopal is not the only blackmark against the young Tamil Nadu minister, son of PMK chief Dr S. Ramadoss. Ramadoss junior has been in the eye of a storm for urging film and sports stars to not endorse soft drinks; for stuffing AIIMS with his cronies; for publicly contesting UN figures on AIDS in India; and for advocating statutory warnings for smoking on screen.
Question: In spite of being the first medical doctor to head the health ministry, has Anbumani Ramadoss become an embarrassment to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh? Should he go? Or will the demands of coalition politics mean that Singh will have to retain him?