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  Metros   Mumbai  01 Mar 2018  Cabinet minister accused of graft

Cabinet minister accused of graft

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Mar 1, 2018, 2:40 am IST
Updated : Mar 1, 2018, 2:40 am IST

A high-level committee will conduct the inquiry. It is a serious matter that vaccination was not carried out.

Ajit Pawar
 Ajit Pawar

Mumbai: The Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) in the Assembly levelled allegations of corruption in the tendering process for cattle vaccination in the state at animal husbandry minister Mahadev Jankar, without naming him.

The Opposition also refused state minister for animal husbandry’s assurance of initiating a high-level investigation into the matter, pressing for a judicial probe instead. Later, the issue was kept on hold till such time chief minister Devendra Fadnavis replied to it.

 

Opposition leader Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil raised the issue, saying that despite over 10 lakh cattle having been affected by foot-and-mouth disease, no vaccination process had been conducted in the past two years. NCP leader Ajit Pawar alleged that a senior minister was re-sponsible for corruption in the vaccination process and that despite issuing seven tenders, a defective firm  had been appointed. “The senior of the state minister is responsible for this. The tenders were issued seven times but no vaccination was carried out. Despite instructions from secretaries, the commissioner did not follow orders. And now a company has been chosen, which was rejected by the BJP-led Haryana government for faulty vaccines. The same 9 lakh faulty vaccines are being dumped in Maharashtra,” he said.

 

In reply, state minister for animal husbandry, Arjun Khotkar, said, “Action will be taken against the officials for ignoring the matter. A high-level committee will conduct the inquiry. It is a serious matter that vaccination was not carried out. I agree that Union agriculture minister Radhamohan Singh had sent a letter expressing apprehension over losing milk and other products worth Rs 20,000 crore due to the disease.”

Tags: nationalist congress party, mahadev jankar