Ramadoss is a very good friend: Venugopal

September 27th, 2008 - 5:43 pm ICT by IANS  

Chandigarh, Sep 27 (IANS) P. Venugopal, former director of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Saturday said here that he was “very good friends” with Health Minister Ambumani Ramadoss, who tried to oust him as head of the premier medical institute.Venugopal, who announced his decision to join the Alchemist Hospitals group - his first private sector job, was repeatedly asked about his equation with Ramadoss.

“We are still very good friends,” Venugopal said.

The cardiologist, who was sacked by Ramadoss as AIIMS director on administrative charges, fought a legal battle and won back the post in May 2008. He retired on July 2.

Asked if he could share a drink or even tea with Ramdoss, Venugopal laughed and said: “Both not.”

“My stand (on the AIIMS controversy) was vindicated by the Supreme Court. The AIIMS does not have anything to worry about now,” he added.

Asked if he wanted some things changed in AIIMS, the cardiologist said: “AIIMS is doing a lot of good work. The positive things and what has been achieved by it should be highlighted instead of only the controversies.”

Venugopal was not very supportive of the health ministry’s latest campaign for gay rights even though he said the ban against smoking, which will come into effect Oct 2, is justified.

“Smoking and drinking are scientifically proven to be harmful to humans. I fully support that campaign. Homosexuality is a controversial issue,” Venugopal said.

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