Graft heat on minister aide

Ramchandra Chandravanshi

Ranchi, July 19: Chief minister Raghubar Das today ordered a probe into corruption charges levelled against health minister Ramchandra Chandravanshi's personal assistant (PA), who has also been removed from his post.

The developments came thick and fast after media reports levelled charges of irregularities and corruption against Chandravanshi's PA Satyendra Narayan Singh.

The Hindi newspaper reports published transcripts of a telephonic conversation purportedly between Singh and senior government doctor Pradeep Pandey, who is facing probe for financial irregularities. The reports further stated Singh demanded Rs 1 lakh from Pandey, who wanted to be cleared of all charges in the ongoing departmental probe.

Taking cognisance of the reports, chief minister Raghubar Das ordered removal of the PA and filing of an FIR against the doctor.

Minister Chandravanshi claimed he was not aware of any such deal. "Now that it has come to light, I have relieved him (Singh) from my duty and written to the cabinet coordination department to initiate action against him," he said.

A deputy-secretary ranking official posted in the personnel department said PAs were generally hand-picked by ministers. "Singh, a circle inspector of the revenue department, was selected by Chandravanshi as his PA," he said.

Sources claimed this was not the first time when Singh tried to misuse his position.

The Telegraph has in its possession a letter (No. 708/Awasiya Karyalaya) that Singh wrote to Giridih civil surgeon on July 11, asking him why he had floated a tender to outsource some work. A senior officer of the department claimed that a civil surgeon was senior to a minister's PA. "Singh did not have the right to question the Giridih civil surgeon. He also wrote to director-in-chief of the health services and to the mission director of National Health Mission, Jharkhand, to transfer or post recommended people."



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