Tanaji Sawant/ X
Maharashtra's Health Minister Tanaji Sawant dismissed allegations of corruption within the health department and threatened those making such claims without evidence with a defamation suit, stated a report in PTI.
According to the report, Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Sanjay Raut had previously accused the state's health department of widespread corruption. In a letter to Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, Raut specifically mentioned money exchanges from private hospitals seeking inclusion in the government's health insurance scheme.
During a press conference, Minister Sawant refuted these allegations. He stated that all transfers and appointments within his department adhered to established regulations and procedures, report stated.
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While not naming Raut, the minister urged the accuser to apologise for the allegations. If this fails, Sawant has threatened to file a defamation lawsuit within the next 8 to 10 days after consulting with legal counsel. "He should tender an apology. Or else, after taking legal advice a defamation suit would be filed against him in the next 8-10 days," he was quoted as saying by PTI.
Previously, the minister had told the press that he would be addressing claims made by rival Shiv Sena faction MP. Sawant had said, "I will hold a press conference tomorrow and respond to every allegation."
According to the PTI report, in his letter to Shinde, Raut also claimed that private hospitals were paying Rs 1 lakh per bed to enrol in the government's Mahatma Jyotirao Phule health insurance scheme. He also alleged irregularities in the appointment of 12 junior-level doctors and claimed that they were appointed as civil surgeons in Washim and Buldhana districts, as well as allegations of bribery in connection with deputy director positions.
Raut, in his letter to Shinde, also stated that 14 candidates were selected for the posts of deputy director through the Maharashtra State Public Service Commission but they were asked to pay bribes for postings.
The Sena (UBT) MP had told the reporters in Delhi that, "There is limitless corruption in the state health department and officers have been appointed to collect (bribe) money."
With agency inputs