BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis alleges 400-crore scam in Maharashtra health department

Published on Oct 29, 2020 12:09 AM IST
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HT Image
By, Mumbai

Alleging a 400-crore scam in the recruitment in the health department under the National Health Mission (NHM), Opposition leader and former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has written to chief minister Uddhav Thackeray demanding a probe. State health minister Rajesh Tope, however, said a probe has already been ordered into the allegations, after the department received complaints from Gadchiroli district last month.

Fadnavis alleged that bribes between 1 lakh and 2.5 lakh are being taken from contractual employees for their recruitment in permanent jobs in the health department. He claimed 20,000 such employees are expected to be given permanent jobs.

“This translates into a scam of 300-400 crore. This needs to be thoroughly probed and action needs to be taken against the guilty. NHM is fully funded by the Centre and implemented by the state government. It is serious if such bribes are being demanded for permanent recruitments. I have submitted audio clips alongisde,” Fadnavis has stated in the letter.

“The process of appointing permanent employees started during the tenure of Fadnavis. A ministerial group headed by Sudhir Mungantiwar had recommended permanent recruitment. I had ordered a probe by Gadchiroli’s superintendent of police Shailesh Balkawde after I received complaints from the district,” said Tope.

Meanwhile, BJP leader Kirit Somaiya has alleged the state government played an important role in “gifting a builder 900 crore for a seven-acre plot at Dahisar”. “The builder has been asking the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to purchase the plot for the past 10 years. On November 2, 2019, then municipal chief Praveen Pardeshi had opposed it on the grounds that it was fully encroached and BMC would be at loss by purchasing it. However, a day after Uddhav Thackeray took over as the chief minister, BMC improvement committee decided to buy it for 349 crore. The builder appealed before the revenue tribunal, saying he should be paid 900 crore.” Shiv Sena leader and standing committee chairman Yeshwant Jadhav refuted the allegations. “There is no transaction of 900 crore. We are working on the progress of Mumbai, while he is indulging in making false allegations,” said Jadhav.

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