AIIMS whistleblower’s ouster: AAP demands Vardhan’s resignation

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on August 21, 2014 Published on August 21, 2014

​A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi said 'corruption was ​a deadlier than cancer', the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) question​ed the ​Health Minister Harsh Vardhan's ​decision to remove​e whistleblower officer Sanjiv Chaturvedi from the post of Chief Vigilance Officer of the country’ premier All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS)​.

Demanding the Health Minister's resign​ation or ​his sacking should he refuse to quit, AAP said “Dr Harsh Vardhan’s action flies directly in the face of the Prime Minister’s recent statement that he will not allow anyone to indulge in corruption and loot.”

In a release, the party also made public copies of letters written by the Health Ministry on May 23 to AIIMS, in which it had mentioned that Himachal Pradesh BJP leader and Rajya Sabha MP, JP Nadda, had objected to Chaturvedi’s appointment, but his objection was overruled since the appointment was as per the rules.

Claiming that the internal letter was approved by the Health Secretary, AAP questioned why the Health Ministry reversed its stand within three months.

Why did Nadda want Chaturvedi out from the CVO’s post? Was it because it was on his recommendation that the CBI had registered a case of corruption against Vineet Chaudhary, a Himachal Pradesh cadre IAS officer, when he was posted as Deputy Director at AIIMS? it said.

AAP said there were enough indications of involvement of more Ministers in the AIIMS issue and threatened to “reveal more details in coming days.”

Chaturvedi, an Indian Forest Service officer, was removed from his post in an order issued by the Health Ministry last week. His tenure was to end in June 2016. Chaturvedi had blown the whistle on many scams involving Ministers and top bureaucrats in Congress-ruled Haryana as well as in AIIMS, and has faced multiple transfers.

AAP said the Modi Government’s latest action was the “third suspect decision of its direct compromise with corruption”.

On July 23, the Home Ministry restricted the powers of Delhi’s Anti-Corruption Branch, which was probing the alleged Rs 54,000 crore natural gas pricing scam involving two former ministers of the UPA Government and Reliance Industries Ltd.

“This was followed by the Petroleum Ministry’s affidavit in the Delhi High Court, where it refused to back ONGC’s stand that Reliance Industries was stealing gas from its fields in the KG D6 basin off Andhra Pradesh coast,” AAP said.

Published on August 21, 2014
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