The change of portfolios in the new state government led by Mehbooba Mufti has sent ripples of joy among medical fraternity, who have heaved a sigh of relief with the replacement of Lal Singh as minister for health.
Terming Lal Singh as rigid politician, jubilant doctors and hospital staff said that the former health minister was more of dictator and he hardly listened to the officers’ in-charge. “He had no knowledge of the medical infrastructure, but to show himself as superior to others, he used to interfere in everything, which was annoying and disturbing for the medical professionals,” said a doctor, wishing anonymity.
He added that since the day of taking charge as health minister, Lal Singh remained in news for his misdeeds and rowdy approach towards professionals. “This is a good decision by new chief minister. Replacement of Lal Singh is in the interest of the medical department. We have seen how ill mannered former health minister was, he never used to respect professionals and had always demeaned the profession,” doctor said and added that under his rule, entire medical profession was turned into a mere house of sycophants.
“A photo of the minister touching the collar of a female doctor was viral on social sites. He had courted controversy earlier also after a woman doctor filed a complaint against him, accusing him of “mental harassment,” doctor said. Another medical professional wishing anonymity said that ever since the BJP leader Choudhary Lal Singh took over as the health minister of the state, he remained ‘despotic and rude’.
“Immediately after taking over as the head of the crucial and ailing health sector of the state, Lal Singh came into a controversial frame on allegedly misbehaving with a female medico,” medical professional said and added that Singh also remained popular among doctors in Valley, where he always tried to show his political clout. Pertinent to mention here that newly formed state government changed few portfolios, which appositely included health ministry. Lal Singh was replaced by former forest minister-Bali Bhagat.
Meanwhile, apparently unhappy with the new portfolio Lal Singh seems to be a victim of bickering within the party.
According to sources, no BJP leader was willing to see him in the ministry, owing to his antecedents and loyalty with the Congress. “BJP leadership, including MLAs and national team were reluctant to see Lal Singh in the ministry. They had apprehensions that the former health minister is weakening the roots of the party by mis-behaving with the people,” said sources within the party.
Sources said that Lal Singh, former health minister, is learnt to be unhappy with the low-key forest, ecology and environment portfolios he has got in the J&K government. Soon after the allocation of portfolios in the Mehbooba Mufti government on Monday evening, sources close to Singh said he was “unhappy with the portfolio that have been assigned to him”, and “considers them an embarrassment”.