Munde row: Fadnavis meets PM Modi, says no irregularities 'prima facie'

New Delhi/Mumbai: A day after Maharashtra's Minister Pankaja Munde came under a cloud over clearing purchases worth Rs 206 crore without inviting tenders, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday met Prime Minister Narendra Modi after which he said there was "no prima facie evidence" of any wrongdoing.

Fadnavis, however, did not rule out ordering a probe but said it will be only after analysing the "minute details".

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis. File/PTI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis. File/PTI

"Panjaka Munde had called me up to say that in this regard if I feel the need for any inquiry to be ordered, I should do it. I am personally monitoring this case. What can be seen prima facie is that there are no discrepancies," Fadnavis told reporters after meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The Chief Minister said Munde, Minister for Women and Child Development, had sanctioned purchases in February this year as funds provided by the Centre under the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) would have expired on March 31.

He also said the norm of inviting e-tenders for purchases worth Rs three lakh and more was introduced by his government in April. Congress has accused Pankaja of flouting this norm by clearing purchases through Government Resolutions.

Fadnavis said, "We will still go into the minute details and, if any discrepancy is found then, an inquiry will be ordered."

The Fadnavis government was on Wednesday hit by its first major allegation of a 'scam' after Congress accused Pankaja, daughter of BJP stalwart late Gopinath Munde, of clearing purchases worth Rs 206 crore on 13 February through 24 Government Resolutions.

A host of items including snacks, mats, dishes, water filters, medicines and books for children were purchased under the Integrated Child Development Services by the Women and Child Development Ministry.

Congress leader Sachin Sawant had filed a complaint with the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) on the issue and former Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan had even sought a CBI probe.

Meanwhile, taking cognizance of the complaint, the ACB has sought a response from Women and Child Development (WCD) Department to the accusations levelled by Sawant.

"We have received a letter from the ACB last evening where they have asked for information on the purchases done by the department. We are in the process of making a report which we will submit to the Chief Minister and the Chief Secretary," Sanjay Kumar, WCD Principal Secretary, told PTI.

The report will be submitted to Fadnavis by tomorrow, he said, adding it will then be forwarded it to the ACB.


Updated Date: Jun 25, 2015 22:46 PM

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