Tobacco, alcohol, anti-quota lobbies want to oust me: Ramadoss

May 17th, 2008 - 7:15 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Anbumani Ramadoss

Chennai, May 17 (IANS) Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss Saturday alleged the tobacco and alcohol lobbies and those against the reservation policy were conspiring to oust him. “The lobby is out to get at me,” the minister told mediapersons here.

“The alcohol, tobacco and anti-reservation lobby is trying to destabilise me and destabilise my party (the PMK, a UPA constituent from Tamil Nadu),” Ramadoss said, defending his high-profile and controversial campaign against tobacco and alcohol as well as championing of the extension of the other backward classes (OBC) quota in institutions like the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).

“They cannot get me by democratic means,” the minister said, adding that was why these “lobbies” were using pressure tactics through a section of the media “to tarnish my image”.

Asked how he rated his performance during the four years, he said: “What has not been achieved in the last 40 years in India in the healthcare sector has been achieved in the four years of the UPA government and my tenure.”

He saw India’s National Rural Health Mission programme as the best in Asia, saying the programme had been recommended for emulation by underdeveloped countries worldwide.

The government’s health expenditure was also an indicator of his ministry’s success, he said. The 11th Five-Year Plan (2007-12) allocation for it was Rs.1.26 trillion, an increase from the 10th Plan allocation of Rs 420 billion, he pointed out.

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