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Poll code spanner in AIIMS inauguration

The formal inauguration of AIIMS-Patna remained elusive on Tuesday because Union health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad was denied permission to do the formalities on the grounds of model code of conduct.

A source in AIIMS said: “Health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad had planned to visit AIIMS today (Tuesday) to inaugurate it. He had sought permission from the Election Commission to do so. But the poll panel did not give him the go-ahead because the model code of conduct is in effect.”

The poll code is in effect for the March 20 elections for eight seats of the Legislative Council.

The formal inauguration of the facility has been cancelled several times in the past few days. The institution was, however, unveiled on September 25, 2012. Former state health minister Ashwini Kumar Choubey had inaugurated it then.

Sources said even if Azad had visited the city on Tuesday, he could not have inaugurated the hospital services because AIIMS-Patna lacks basic infrastructure. It would take around three months to complete the in-patient department. The construction of the outpatient department would be completed only after six months . “We are not in a position to start the hospital services at this moment. Azad couldn’t have inaugurated the in-patient department because the building is not ready,” a doctor said.