Now, NCP accuses Pankaja Munde of flouting rules in awarding dam contract

Mumbai: NCP today accused Maharashtra Minister Pankaja Munde of flouting rules in awarding a contract to build a dam in Jalna district.

The contract to build a check dam in Parbhani district was awarded to a private company headed by Ratnakar Gutte, who is a functionary of Rashtriya Samaj Paksh (RSP), an ally of the BJP-led grand alliance as well as a close associate of the Munde family, NCP spokesman Nawab Malik alleged.

"Gutte's firm was disqualified in the e-tendering process in February this year, but since he was close to the Mundes, he got the contract," Malik claimed. Allegedly, Munde also cleared purchases of chikki (eatable), mats and books for Rs 206 crore without floating tenders for the same.

According to rules, any government purchase above Rs 3 lakh has to be done through the e-tendering process. Malik said the ministers of the state government had no "moral right" to continue in office. "Pankaja, who holds crucial portfolios like Women and Child Welfare, Rural Development and Water Conservation is accused of awarding contracts to party workers and close associates by flouting rules.

An inquiry should be conducted to the matter," Malik said. Malik also accused Maharashtra Social Justice Minister Rajkumar Badole of utilising funds meant for shelter homes "to serve food to his guests". "A person died of hunger in Badole's home constituency of Tiroda in the Vidarbha region, but the minister was not bothered about it," Malik alleged.

Malik accused Maharashtra Education Minister Vinod Tawde of approving the purchase of fire extinguishers with "malafide intentions". It was only after the finance ministry's intervention that the purchase order was stopped, he alleged.

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