Chaotic scenes were witnessed at both houses of the state legislature on Friday with the Opposition demanding the resignation of Women and Child Development Minister Pankaja Munde for the for the alleged “chikki” scam and of Education Minister Vinod Tawde for declaring an allegedly fake engineering degree.
The Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil led the Congress-NCP charge on the irregularities committed by ministers in the Devendra Fadnavis government.
The uproar and raising of slogans lead to repeated disruptions leading to adjournment of both houses for the day. Vikhe-Patil said, “The chief minister should order investigation and Pankaja Munde and Vinod Tawde should resign from the government.”
The day was marked with high drama as Opposition took the government to task on corruption with legislators displaying placards and raising slogans.
In his response, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said, “My government is ready to investigate all the cases. And there would be no question of protecting any wrong doing in the government.’’ However, he warned the Opposition not to be under impression that government would buckle to their pressure and sack ministers.
Fadnavis said, “Those who are architect of Adarsh scam and Annabhau Sathe corporation scam have no right to point fingers at others. It was your government which continued with corrupt practices.”
Tawde in his response said, “My father was a clerk at Mhada and yet he gave me education. Had I been a son of rich father like Prithviraj Chavan or Jayant Patil I would have studied abroad.”
Former finance minister Jayant Patil said, “The issue is not of poor or rich. We are objecting to bogus degree of education minister. He has to explain why he acquired the fake degree. Or why did Pankaja Munde indulge in violation of rules in awarding chikki contract for supplying it to school children.”
Outside the house, opposition leaders staged a protest sitting on the steps of Vidhan Bhavan to protest against tainted ministers.
The NCP led by opposition leader in council Dhananjay Munde distributed a boxes of chikki labeled ‘Panku Chikki’ with a price tag of Rs 80 crore.