Bhubaneswar:  After Odisha's Excise Minister quit over the hooch tragedy that claimed 33 lives, state Health Minister Prasanna Acharya on Friday made it clear that he would not follow suit even as he steered clear of claims that the victims took adulterated medicine.

"I am very conscious about my morality. I do not think that I am an immoral person. My morals inspire me to provide good treatment to affected people admitted in hospitals," Acharya told reporters when asked whether he would follow in the footsteps of A U Singhdeo.

On Singhdeo's contention on Thursday that people who died had taken medicines having alcohol, Acharya said that he would not comment on his former ministerial colleague's statement.

Stressing that he did not want to take part in a blame game, he said it was the collective responsibility of the government to ensure that medicine and liquor were not adulterated.

He said that alcohol content in certain medicines was permissible and its use was by pharmaceutical manufacturers was regulated by the excise department and the health department had no role in it.

"There is a bond house on the premises of every pharmaceutical manufacturing unit. The house has two locks. While one key is with manufacturer, another is held by the excise department officers. Both regulate the alcohol content in medicine. The health department has no role in it," the minister said.

(Agencies)