Eknath Khadse slams minister over irregularities in drug purchase

Eknath Khadse slams minister

Nagpur: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and former state minister Eknath Khadse on Monday questioned the Maharashtra minister for food and drugs Girish Bapat over alleged irregularities in the purchase of medicines by the state-run Haffkine Institute in Mumbai. Congress leader and former chief minister Prithviraj Chavan had raised a question in the Maharashtra Assembly over the Supreme Court order on the bulk purchase of polio vaccines by the Parel-based institute.

The Supreme Court had observed that purchases were not according to norms laid down by Central Vigilance Commission, Mr Chavan claimed. But the apex court has not told the government to prosecute anyone, he added.

Mr Khadse also pulled up the treasury benches, saying it was unfortunate that the government was not able to retain the top brains at the only institute for the study and research on serpents and their venom. Mr Khadse said that it was unfortunate that scientists working there were being paid poorly. Mr Bapat admitted in his written reply a school headmaster was receiving Rs 1.5 lakh.

He also said that criminal offences should be registered against those found guilty of irregularities. “Why government was shielding corrupt persons?” Mr Khadse asked. The senior BJP leader also demanded an investigation by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) into the matter.