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Student refuses to accept award from Omar Abdullah

April 29, 2009 05:49 IST

While shoes were thrown at political leaders for failing to do their duty, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdulla's suffered a different form of embarassment.

Abdullah faced an embarrassing situation at the annual day function of the Acharya Shri Chander College of Medical Sciences in Jammu, as an awardee refused to accept an award from him. Not only this, the awardee then used the platform to air the grievances of student community, much to the chagrin of CM.

The CM arrived at the venue around 1400 hrs, the function started. The programme moved as per schedule till the award ceremony. Till that point things went off according to plans.Then things took a sudden turn, the awardee, a topper, refused to take his award from the CM and snatched the mirophone to make a speech.

The compere announced the name of an intern Dr Pankaj Gupta, who was the first to receive the award from the Chief Minister. As Dr Gupta got upon the stage, instead of turning towards Omar, he moved to the other side of the dais and held the mike. "Sir, I refuse to accept the award and I would request you to sit for a while as I want to say few words," Dr Gupta stated addressing the CM. The annoyance was on the face of the Chief Minister was visible to all. He was simply taken aback by this unexpected move.

While Dr Gupta, enjoying full backing of the students, as was evident from loud clapping, continued, "I want to point out that we (doctors in ASCOMS) are not treated at par with the doctors of Government Medical Colleges vis-a-vis payment of stipend."

After winding up, Gupta walked up to the CM and handed over a memorandum to him with a request to sign it.
The irked CM did not oblige. To cover up the discomfiture caused to both the administration as well as the CM, the emcee, in the meantime tried to carry on the ceremony by announcing the next name.

However it was the turn of Chief Minister to snub the authorities in his inimitable manner. Expressing his anger in a measured way, the Chief Minister said, "It would have been proper had he (Dr Gupta) contacted me, my political advisor or health minister on this account on some other occasion. Though this is not appropriate, yet he has a democratic right to free speech. But then we need to see the other side of the coin. The doctors don't join their duties in the peripheries."

The award ceremony was abandoned as Omar left the venue.

Onkar Singh in New Delhi