Maha: Minister slaps Akola GMCH mess staffer for allegedly botching up food supply to COVID patients
Nagpur: A surprise inspection at the Akola Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) by Maharashtra Minister of State and Akola Guardian Minister Bachchu Kadu brewed controversy after he allegedly slapped a mess staffer for lying about the quantity of grains used daily in the hospital and botching of food supply to Covid patients.
The guardian minister's surprise visit was a result of certain viral videos that showed the poor quality of food provided to Covid-19 patients at Akola GMCH, where more than 1,500 patients are under treatment.
The dean of the GMCH Dr Meenakshi Gajbhiye and other officials were present during the inspection. During his visit, he talked to the cooks, workers, and the contractor of the mess. When he found them to be lying, the minister allegedly slapped one of the mess staffers.
The video of the minister slapping the mess staffer went viral on the internet and political reactions poured in.
An inquiry has been ordered by the minister regarding the scam at the Akola GMCH. The minister has given the responsibility of the inquiry upon Akola sub-divisional officer Nilesh Apar. As per recent media reports, suspension action was proposed in the case. The mess staffer who got slapped is a contractual employee of the GMCH.
As per the latest media report by the Times of India, when the minister found the pulses to be of poor quality he questioned Contractor Sahebrao Kulmethe about the quantity of pulses cooked daily for the entire hospital. He claimed the quantity to be 10 kgs daily.
However, the kitchen in-charge staffer Sunil Morey told the minister that they didn't cook more than 6 kgs of pulses on a daily basis. When the minister brought both of them face-to-face, Morey allegedly changed his statement and said the amount to be 10 kgs. This angered the guardian minister. When after repeated questions, the kitchen in charge did not tell the truth, minister Kadu allegedly lost his cool and slapped him.
While commenting on the scam at Akola GMCH's mess, minister Kadu told TOI, "A month's supply of grains was demanded as per the register here, but only 8 days' worth food grains were supplied. For the last 8 months, there has been no record of food grains arriving at the district hospital for Covid patients."
"Instead of the slapping incident, one must concentrate on the gross corruption that was noticed during inspection," the minster added.
English Lokmat has reported that the hospital could not produce the account of the cost of meals for the last year in the medical college as well.
Meanwhile, condemning the slapping incident, BJP MLA Atul Bhatkhalkar wrote on Twitter, "Does the rule of law exist in the state? How can a minister beat a normal employee over a meal issue? File a case against Bachchu Kadu for assaulting a government employee."
राज्यात कायद्याचे राज्य अस्तित्वात आहे काय? जेवणाच्या मुद्यावरून एक मंत्री सामान्य कर्मचाऱ्याला मारहाण कशी करू शकतो?सरकारी कर्मचाऱ्याला मारहाण प्रकरणी बच्चू कडू यांच्यावर गुन्हा दाखल करा.— Atul Bhatkhalkar (@BhatkhalkarA) April 6, 2021