West Bengal medical ‘scam’: Governor Dhankar seeks judicial probe, says panel set up by Mamata Banerjee an eyewash

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Updated: Sep 04, 2020 10:49 AM

The Mamata Banerjee government is facing severe criticism from opposition parties over alleged irregularities in the purchase of medical equipment.

West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar and CM Mamata Banerjee. (File)

West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar has demanded a judicial probe into the purchase of medical equipment by the state government to fight against coronavirus. Dhankar on Thursday wrote a letter to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, questioning the credibility of a three-member inquiry panel set up to investigate allegations of corruption against her government. He termed the inquiry commission as an eyewash.

The three-member panel comprises senior government officials — ACS Home, ACS Finance, and Secretary Health Department. He said that serious issues have been flagged to him with regard to the credibility of the committee. The panel will look into allegations of corruption and report to the Chief Secretary.

Dhankar alleged that the government had relaxed rules to purchase items worth Rs 2,000 crore, including three million Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs), 3.7 million N-95 masks, and four million gloves.

“You would appreciate that these purchases came to be affected by the Health Department after the relaxation was ordered by the Chief Secretary. In such a situation, in view of obvious conflict of interest, the present investigation would lack any credibility and be only sham and an eyewash — ‘post facto cover up ratification’ of massive corruption,” Dhankhar wrote.

The Mamata Banerjee government is facing severe criticism from opposition parties over alleged irregularities in the purchase of medical equipment.

Dhankhar had last month as well questioned the credibility of the panel and said that it was an attempt to cover up the truth. He had alleged a multi-crore scam in purchase.

Banerjee had earlier dismissed charges, saying her government “works with sufficient transparency”.

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