Political rival of Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party's Bhim Singh, has sought the Election Commission's intervention to put on hold the recruitment of 148 assistant professors in AIIMS till the new government is formed.
Singh also demanded cancellation of the "extraordinary" meetings of the Institute Body and Governing Body scheduled for May 12, citing that the Model Code of Conduct is in force and the elections results will be out on May 16. The meeting of the Institute Body, the highest decision-making body of AIIMS, has been approved by the Health Minister, who is also president of the medical institute.
"He has fixed the meetings of both Governing Body and Institute Body on the same day (May 12, the date for last-phase polling) at a very short notice after throwing all ethics and norms of propriety to winds,"
Singh, who is a candidate from Jammu and Kashmir's Udhampur Lok Sabha seat from where Azad is also contesting, said in a letter to the EC dated May 9. "I therefore request you to kindly order cancellation of the meetings scheduled for May 12 immediately. It would also be worthwhile to scrutinise the list of candidates shortlisted in such a hurry and in a clandestine manner to come to just conclusions about the minister having derived undue advantage from this recruitment for himself and his party and in the process having deprived other candidates of a level playing field, an endeavour for which the Election Commission of India has been striving all throughout these polls," he said.
The national chairman of All India Confederation of SC/ST Organisations and BJP candidate, Udit Raj, has also written to BJP leader Sushma Swaraj, who is also a member of the AIIMS Governing Body and Institute Body, alleging that recruitment of 148 Assistant Professors is happening on the basis of a "faulty reservation roster". "Not only the roster is faulty but also totally inconsistent with DoPT guidelines... Apart from violating the constitutionally enshrined rights of the SCs and STs, the illegal recruitment is being carried out by the Institute administration when the Model Code of Conduct is in force," Raj said.
He also demanded that the Institution administration be barred from going ahead with the two 'extra-ordinary' meetings. A section of AIIMS faculty has already raised protests, alleging that ongoing recruitment process violates the Centre's guidelines on representation of Scheduled Tribes (ST), Scheduled Castes (SC) and Other Backward Classes (OBC).
Further, the group of doctors under the banner Forum for Rights and Equality demanded that the "extra-ordinary" Institute body and Governing body meetings scheduled for May 12 be postponed.