BJP government in Maharashtra hit with scam allegations in the Upper House

Leader of Opposition Dhananjay Munde alleged that there were irregularities in allotting contracts for direct benefit transfers, sanitary pads for rural schools and cattle vaccines

cities Updated: Dec 22, 2017 00:23 IST
Surendra Gangan
Surendra Gangan
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Maharashtra,Upper House
Leader of Opposition Dhananjay Munde made the allegations on Thursday(HT FILE)

Leader of Opposition in the legislative council Dhananjay Munde alleged irregularities in allotment of tenders to firms that led to loss of crores of rupees and also failure of schemes. He alleged in the Upper House on Thursday that the contracts of direct benefit transfers, sanitary pads for girls in boarding schools in rural areas and vaccines meant for bovine were given to companies by tweaking rules.

Munde alleged that the Pankaja Munde-led rural development department alloted a contract worth Rs1,044 crore for providing sanitary napkins to girls in residential schools in rural areas to a company that was involved in Chikki scam in 2015. He said the department changed specifications and tender conditions many times to ensure the company gets the contract. The leader of Opposition said the department, instead of hiring leading companies supplying napkins with standard specifications, purchased them at higher rates.

“When the rate finalised by the e-market facility ranges between Rs12 and Rs14, the state awarded the contract to the company for a cost ranging from Rs19.25 to Rs23.20 per pad. The firm to which the contract was alloted did not have any experience in manufacturing napkins. It purchased manufacturing machines only a few months before the contract was alloted to it,” he said. Munde demanded judicial probe in the alleged scam.

He also alleged that the Department of Information and Technology appointed a firm as system integrator for the direct benefit transfers of scholarships and other schemes by tweaking tender conditions. When leading IT firms were in the race for the contract, the conditions were framed to ensure this firm gets it. He alleged that Rs55.27-crore contract was given to the firm with grade ‘C’, despite the fact that firms with grade A were available. Calling it a Mahaonline scam, he demanded inquiry in it. The IT department is headed by chief minister Devendra Fadnavis.

Munde also demanded the resignation of dairy development and animal husbandry minister Mahadev Jankar for the irregularities in allotting contract of a vaccine meant for bovine to protect them from diseases. “The department changed the specifications of the contract and that led to delay in allotment. Delay in vaccination to bulls and cows has resulted in lesser production of milk and drop in efficiency of bulls. This has badly hit the farmers,” Munde said while adding that allotment of the contract was delayed despite agricultural commissioner warning the government of urgent need of vaccination.

The reply to the allegations levelled by the opposition is expected by the respective ministers on Friday.

First Published: Dec 22, 2017 00:23 IST