`Chikki scam': Council chairman asks Munde to submit reply

 The Maharashtra Legislative Council Chairman Ramraje Nimbalkar today asked the Women and Child Welfare minister Pankaja Munde to submit a written explanation on the allegations of irregularities in the purchases worth Rs 206 crore by her department.

PTI| Updated: Jul 29, 2015, 22:34 PM IST

Mumbai: The Maharashtra Legislative Council Chairman Ramraje Nimbalkar today asked the Women and Child Welfare minister Pankaja Munde to submit a written explanation on the allegations of irregularities in the purchases worth Rs 206 crore by her department.

The Chairman, however, did not allow a discussion on the issue under adjournment motion.

Congress MLC Sharad Ranpise had moved a breach of privilege motion against Munde.

Munde has been accused of corruption by the opposition after it emerged that her department awarded contracts for various items including the sweet snack `chikki' for tribal area schools without calling for e-tenders.

Education minister Vinod Tawde has also faced allegations of irregularities in a contract for purchasing 62,105 fire extinguishers worth Rs 191 crore for zilla parishad schools.
Ranpise had moved the breach of privilege motion against Munde saying that she had flouted rules of business, and demanded resignations of both the BJP ministers.

"Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao in his first address to House on November 12, 2014 had mentioned that e-tendering will be made mandatory for all purchases, which was approved by the state cabinet and it should be therefore be treated as a government policy. By approving Rs 206 crore-worth items, Munde has flouted the rules of business," Ranpise alleged.

"Also, the file did not go to the CM for approval, so it is a violation of government resolution of December 18," he said.

Coming out in Munde's defence, leader of the House and senior minister Eknath Khadse said, "Mere allegations do not mean that corruption has actually taken place. I know of a hundred cases like this."

The opposition then created a ruckus in protest, following which the Chairman asked Munde to give a written explanation and adjourned the day's proceedings.