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IMA polls extend election season

- Former secretary Dr BP Kashyap, who resigned in April, also in fray

Lok Sabha polls may have exited Jharkhand, but elections are far from over in the state capital.

The Ranchi chapter of Indian Medical Association (IMA) has scheduled its annual balloting on May 18. The announcement comes after the resignation of former secretary Dr B.P. Kashyap last month fragmented the outfit’s executive committee.

Kashyap had stepped down in the last week of April over what he had termed as his failure to implement IMA’s nationwide call to provide 25 per cent discount on OPD fee to voters who showed their inked index fingers.

“The election has been scheduled this month owing to the resignation of Dr Kashyap. Else, it would have taken place in June,” said Dr Ranjit Singh, election officer of the outfit’s Ranchi chapter.

Singh added that Monday was the last day for filing nominations for the posts of president, vice-president, secretary and treasurer.

“As of now, nine nominations have been filed. The last date to withdraw nominations is May 10. And on May 12, the applications will be scrutinised. We have decided to hold the election at IMA Bhavan on May 18. So, by the time a new sarkar is formed at the Centre, we will have a new team here, too,” he said.

Those in the fray include sitting president Dr R.C. Jha, Dr J.K. Mitra, Dr Pawan Choudhary, Dr Bharti Kashyap, Dr R.K. Srivastava, Dr Suman Sinha, Dr B. Tiwari and Dr Nishit Ekka. Dr Kashyap will also contest the fresh polls.

IMA members said this year’s election would be interesting as a bunch of doctors from RIMS had joined the outfit last year. At present, there are around 430 members in IMA’s Ranchi chapter.

“Till last year, many doctors did not take much interest in the polls. But, in the past one year, number of members has swelled and around 100 enthusiastic doctors have joined the outfit. The Ranchi chapter of IMA, which is nearly 72 years old, was very active earlier. But, in the last three four years, there has been a slump in its activities. The past year has seen it bounce back into action,” said a doctor, refusing to be named.

IMA members said strict implementation of the Medical Protection Act and ensuring security of doctors were some of the issues that needed to be taken up by the Ranchi chapter of the outfit.

“This election is important because the new team will need to take up these issues with the government. Among other issues, RIMS doctors do not receive non-practice allowance and are compelled to run private clinics. The Ranchi chapter of IMA can influence the government’s stance on problems like these,” said another member.