With the Anti-Corruption Bureau giving her a clean chit in the ‘chikki’ purchase case, Maharashtra minister Pankaja Munde on Wednesday said the allegations against her were part of a plan to defame her.
“I had said many times that there was no substance in the allegations (of irregularities in chikki purchase). On several occasions in the Legislative Assembly also, I have replied to the charges,” Pankaja said.
“Those who made the allegations saw a lot of irregularities in `chikki’ that wasn’t even distributed (among schoolchildren),” the women and child welfare minister said.
“A supari (contract) was taken to defame me,” Pankaja said. The BJP minister, however, did not disclose who was behind the move to malign her.
“The ACB has given me a clean chit. I am absolved of the charges. I wasn’t involved in any wrongdoing,” Pankaja asserted.
The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has closed the case against her in the matter pertaining to alleged irregularities in awarding contracts for materials worth Rs 206 crore for school children.
Pankaja was accused of flouting norms in awarding contracts for supplying items like ‘chikki’ (sweetmeat made with nuts and jaggery), mats, notebooks and water filters, among others, for schoolchildren.
Maharashtra Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant had last year lodged a complaint with the ACB demanding an inquiry into the allegations against the minister and submitted a set of documents purportedly supporting the charges.