The Union Health Ministry has ignited a political controversy in Tamil Nadu by appointing ABVP national president Dr Shanmugam Subbiah, who was accused of urinating in front of the apartment of an elderly woman following a civil dispute, as member of the proposed All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Madurai.
Soon after the appointment of Dr Subbiah, who heads the Department of Surgical Oncology at the Government Kilpauk Medical College and Hospital in Chennai, became public, several political parties led by DMK president M K Stalin demanded his removal.
A few months ago, Dr Subbiah, until then a not so well known figure, hit the national headlines when an elderly woman lodged a police complaint in Chennai accusing him of harassing her and urinating outside her flat. The two had a dispute over the doctor parking his car in a lot allotted to her in the apartment complex in south Chennai.
CCTV screen grab of a man resembling the doctor urinating outside the flat had gone viral then. While Dr Subbiah denied the charges, the ABVP claimed that the NSUI, the Congress’ student wing, was trying to implicate him in the case. The complaint was however withdrawn after the victim was spoken to by people, allegedly at the doctor’s behest.
In a statement, DMK president Stalin condemned the appointment and demanded that he be dropped as AIIMS member. “Dr Subbiah, who behaved in a shameless manner in front of his neighbour’s house has been nominated to the AIIMS. This is gross abuse of power and a proof that the BJP has no respect for women,” he charged.
MDMK leader Vaiko and DMK women’s wing leader and MP Kanimozhi also questioned the appointment. Kanimozhi tweeted, “Is this an endorsement of his indecent behaviour and also an incentive for other BJP cadres to follow suit.”
Congress MP Manickam Tagore, CPI (M) MP’s Su Venkatesan and VCK MP Ravikumar also took to Twitter to condemn Dr Subbiah’s appointment.