Mumbai: Bowing to the Opposition's pressure, the Maharashtra government today agreed to constitute a three-member committee under Chief Secretary to inquire into procurements done in the last 15 years by various departments.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announced this in the Council after days of relentless demand by the Opposition for action against BJP Ministers facing graft charges.
Women and Child Welfare Minister Pankaja Munde and Education Minister Vinod Tawde are facing allegations of irregularities by their respective Departments.
Speaking in the Upper House during a discussion on allegations of corruption against BJP Ministers, Leader of Opposition Dhananjay Munde demanded a probe under the watch of a sitting High Court judge into alleged irregularities in awarding contracts by Government Departments.
Responding to him, Fadnavis said, "We are ready to conduct an inquiry into allegations of irregularities in procurement of various items. We will, under Chief Secretary, and two other secretaries under him do an inquiry into all the procurement done in the last 15 years."
Earlier, Munde said he met the CM on May 20 along with a few legislators and with "folded hands" requested him to stay payment for procurements ordered by Departments after giving him "proofs" of irregularities.
"On February 13, the reason for hasty purchases cleared (by Pankaja's department for school kids) was that time was running out for the use of Centre's funds. But I met the CM on May 20, the day payment was to be released. If money was not given for so long, the reason (for urgent procurement) given by the Minister (Pankaja) was baseless," Munde said.
"When I inquired about the minutes of the meet that took a day prior to awarding the contracts, I was told no meeting had taken place. How can a GR (government resolution) be issued without a meeting?" the NCP leader questioned.
Munde further claimed "while a company, Suryakanta, was given a contract to make chikkis (a sweet snack) worth Rs 80 crore, chikkis only worth Rs 12 crore were supplied."
"If Suryakanta had to execute such a big order, it would have needed to make at least 27 lakh kg of chikkis for which it would have required at least 15 lakh kg jaggery, high quantities of water, peanuts, etc.
"But in the whole of Konkan region (where the firm is based), there had been no such purchases of raw materials in the last 5 years. This means chikkis rejected in 2013 by the previous Government were being supplied to children."
Responding to him, Pankaja said she has done no wrong and declared she will leave politics if allegations against her are found to be true.