Rs 230 crore scam: Chikki muck on Pankaja Munde at Dhananjay Munde’s behest?

Mumbai,Shailendra Paranjpe: Was it Dhananjay Munde, the leader of Opposition in state legislative council ans Sources in the chief minister’s office as well as from the anti-corruption bureau and the department of women and child development reveal it was Dhananjay who had written a letter to CM Fadnavis in the third week of May regarding the said purchases at one go.

Congress state unit then approached anti-corruption bureau (ACB) with a demand of inquiry into the purchases of chikki along with carpets, medicines, uniforms and water filters for the anganwadis in the state. There are more than 90,000 anganwadis in the state and the ‘shopping’ for Rs 230 crore worth goods were made at one go.

Congress spokesperson Sachin Savant, who approached the ACB, has alleged that no tender was issued and the government made a decision in November 2014 that every purchase above Rs 3 lakh has to be made through e-tendering. Pointing out the same, leader of Opposition in assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil on Thursday demanded resignation of Pankaja Munde. He criticised the CM for trying to provide cover to his minister and said it was an effort to fool the people, stating false information. Vikhe-Patil said if Pankaja Munde was ready to face inquiry, she should resign since no inquiry can be held in an objective manner if she remains in the chair.

Meanwhile, the ACB as well as Women and Child Development department sources told dna that it was Dhananjay who had raised charges against these purchases in the month of May by writing to the CM. When this correspondent tried to get in touch with Dhananjay, his mobile was diverted to his office staff, who kept repeating that he was busy in a meeting. He reportedly had told some mediapersons that even though he has written letter to the CM and had sought inquiry, he did not want to harness the issue politically.

The cousins were not on talking terms ever since Dhananjay deserted his uncle late Gopinath Munde to join NCP. Pankaja had won the battle with Dhananjay in all the elections, be it to assembly, district bank or the gram panchayat. Those who see Dhananjay behind the allegations are citing the fact that even after writing to the CM and Congress complaining to the ACB, Dhananjay is avoiding media. “It would take a few more years for Dhananjay to become a Eknath Khadse or Narayan Rane,” a BJP leader remarked to dna on the sidelines of a function in the city on Thursday.