The Maharashtra state legislative assembly and council on Friday plunged into pandemonium as Opposition demanded the resignation of Women and Child Welfare Minister Pankaja Munde and Education Minister Vinod Tawde for their alleged involvement in the “chikki” scam and fake engineering degree respectively.
The Leader of Opposition in state assembly, Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, lead the Congress and NCP to expose the irregularities committed by ministers in the Devendra Fadnavis cabinet. The Opposition repeatedly disrupted the House and Council proceedings leading to adjournment for the day.
“The chief minister should order investigation and Pankaja Munde and Vinod Tawde should resign from the government,” Vikhe Patil said.
Vikhe Patil wondered how a chief minister Devendra Fadnavis can issue a clean chit to the ministers even before the investigation is ordered and facts are ascertained.
The day was marked with high drama as Opposition took the government to task on corruption. They walked into the assembly and council displaying placards and raising slogans.
“My government is ready to investigate all the cases. And there would be no question of protecting any wrong doing in the government,” said Devendra Fadnavis. However, he warned the Opposition not to be under the impression that the government would give in to their pressure and sack ministers.
“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,” said Fadnavis. If there is any merit in your charges we will order probe, he added.
Tawde, who is accused of obtaining an engineering degree which is not recognised by government, 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.”
The former finance minister 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 indulged in violation of rules in awarding rs 206 crore chikki (sweets) contract for supplying it to school children.”
The ruling and opposition traded charges against each other. The housing minister Prakash Mehta said, “If we were to expose the corruption of Congress and NCP several members would be in jail.”
Outside the house, Opposition leaders staged a protest sitting on the steps of Vidhan Bhavan to protest against tainted ministers. The NCP lead by opposition leader in council Dhananjay Munde distributed a boxes of chikki labeled “Panku Chikki” with a price tag of Rs 80 crore.
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