Maharashtra: More trouble for Education Minister Vinod Tawde; row over Rs 191 crore purchase sans tenders

Mumbai(dna): A week after state Women and Child Welfare Minister Pankaja Munde was accused of 206 crore Chikki scam, Bhartiya Janata Party is now once again in trouble as the state’s finance department raised objections to a contract awarded by Education Minister Vinod Tawde for the purchase of fire extinguishers for Zilla Parishad schools.

According to Indian Express report, Tawde’s School Education Department allegedly gave a Rs 191 crore contract to purchase fire extinguishers without e-tendering.

However, the contract was put on hold after objections were raised by the senior bureaucrats of finance department on March 4.

The matter pertains to the supply of fire extinguishers to 62,105 zilla parishad schools in Maharashtra.

The report stated that the contract was given to Thane-based Reliable Fire Engineers on February 27.

The report also said the finance department observed that the dealer who was allotted the work was not on the government’s rate contract list and only 19 crore were allotted in the budget to purchase miscellaneous items for zilla parishad schools.

Reacting on the issue, BJP leader Nalin Kohli said, “You cannot taint people just on the basis of allegations and should show the proof.”

Meanwhile, former Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader and activist Anjali Damania criticized Tawde for awarding contracts without proper tenders and said that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLAs have off late been busy in collecting the funds spent during the assembly polls.

“BJP MLAs are busy in collecting the expenses that they incurred in the polls. How did Vinod Tawde order 62105? Fire extinguishers without tenders? It is absolutely wrong,” said Damania.