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Woman doctor alleges harassment by health minister’s secretary

A woman doctor from Jalgaon district has written a letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis alleging she was “harassed” by the state Health Minister Deepak Sawant’s Personal Secretary, a charge denied by the official.

Sawant’s Personal Secretary (PS) Sunil Mali has rubbished her charges stating it as a “conspiracy to defame him”.

The 26-year-old doctor had recently claimed to have fully digitised a primary health centre (PHC), in terms of equipment and data, at Patonda village in Jalgaon district of the state.

“Mali asked inappropriate and personal questions from me for around two hours in the minister’s ante-chamber, when I went to Sawant to give him a presentation on replicating her project across 1,800 PHCs across the state,” the doctor alleged.

“In March, during the Budget session, I had given a presentation to Sawant to replicate the project across the state’s 1,800 PHCs. After the presentation, the minister’s PS.

Sunil Mali kept me in the minister’s ante-chamber for about two hours and asked me about my personal life against my wishes,” she alleged.

“He tried to convince me that everyone needs a godfather in the government to get their projects implemented.

I have complained to the Chief Minister and demanded his immediate ouster,” she claimed.

Asked why she did not raise the issue for three months, the doctor said she feared that she would be transferred from the Patonda PHC.

“Now when some people have come forward to complain against him for his alleged involvement in corruption in transfer of officials, I mustered up the courage to speak up,” she said.

Meanwhile, Mali said, “It is a conspiracy to defame me. All allegations levelled against me are baseless.”

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