Pankaja Munde compared Sharad Pawar with Dilip Kumar. Pawar returned the compliment by comparing Munde to Deepika Padukone.
Opposition Congress took the opportunity to take a swipe at Munde, saying it showed her ‘high-handed attitude’.
While irregularities were alleged in contracts worth Rs 80 crore awarded by Munde’s Women and Child Development department to a Konkan-based firm, Khadse had allegedly recommended the same firm in 2012.
Other state ministers who were high on absenteeism include PWD minister Eknath Shinde, Health Minister Deepak Sawant, Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar and Social Welfare minister Rajkumar Badole.
Rate contracts are contracts for supply of items at stipulated rates during a specified period.
Outside the house, opposition leaders staged a protest sitting on the steps of Vidhan Bhavan to protest against tainted ministers.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis says government is ready for investigation in all cases but rules out resignation of ministers.
The Opposition has accused Pankaja Munde of irregularities in the procurement of food products worth Rs 206 crore.
Official documents show that the tenders for the supply of chikki in BMC schools were first floated in 2013.
The Opposition claimed several discrepancies in the allotment of these contracts and has made allegations of corruption against Pankaja Munde.
Pankaja said her image had taken a beating even before elections when there was talk of her aspiring for the chief minister’s post.
After discussions in her office on February 12, chikkis totalling Rs 75 crore replaced ladus, biscuit contract was limited to Rs 5 crore.
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The new policy would also specify the circumstances and the kind of items that could be purchased under the controversy-riddled method.
Pankaja said there was no question of her favouring any contractor, as the companies in question had been there since the Congress regime.