Bhubaneswar: The recent hooch tragedy in the districts of Cuttack and Khurda that claimed at least 40 lives rocked the State Assembly on Friday. The Opposition Congress demanded the resignation of Health Minister, Prasanna Acharya on moral grounds.
The debate in the assembly was rocked when the Leader of the Opposition Bhupinder Singh held the Government responsible for the tragedy. Alleging that since the deaths were caused due to consumption of medicines with high content of alcohol, the Health Minister was responsible for the unfortunate incident and demanded his resignation on moral grounds.
In reply to a related question, Acharya said the Health Department had conducted raids on all drug factories and medicine shops in connection with the production and sale of the alleged spurious and substandard medicines. He also informed the House that the State Government was considering to bring a special legislation on the production, sale, distribution and regulation of medicines to check substandard drugs in circulation.
Adding more Acharya assured the House that necessary redress measures and strong action would be taken against the culprits involved in the incident.
Acharya however blamed the Centre for not amending, the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940, which allows pharmaceutical companies to manufacture medicines having alcohol content.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik left the house while the Opposition and treasury benches were engaged in throwing charges at each other. However, normalcy was restored after the Speaker directed both sides to maintain peace and help the House run its business smoothly.