RAIPUR: Even as the Congress is struggling to put its house in order in poll-bound states, differences between Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel and Health Minister T S Singhdeo in Chhattisgarh are growing and this is creating piquant situations.
The Covid-19 vaccine beneficiaries in Janjgir-Champa district were recently handed over vaccination certificates that not only carried the photos of Baghel and Singhdeo but referred to both as CM. As the vaccination card went viral on social media, health department officials blamed it on the negligence of the block medical officer (BMO).
District collector Jitender Kumar Shukla said the officer had been shunted out. However, Anil Choudhary, BMO of Sakti block in the district, said, “It is an error by the printing press. We have been instructed to discontinue distributing these erroneous vaccination cards and replace them.”
While the incident could just be a faux pas and may have no links with the tension between the CM and his cabinet colleague, Baghel’s recent decision of promoting the role of private health sector in rural area has not gone down well with Singhdeo, who did not hide his displeasure.
On June 26, Baghel decided to offer grants to specialist health professionals who will set up private nursing homes in villages. A miffed Singhdeo said, “Neither was such plan discussed with me nor am I in favour of the decision. At a time when the state has inadequate financial resources, giving funds to the private sector that will further charge the people for treatment is something beyond my comprehension.”
Baghel’s recent reshuffle of district in-charge ministers was seen as a move to clip the wings of Singhdeo. He was in-charge of 12 Assembly constituencies but now has only five segments.