Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said on Friday that the government is ready to conduct a probe into the alleged irregularities in awarding contracts by Women and Child Development (WCD) ministry under Pankaja Munde, if Opposition provides evidence of violation of norms, adding that she has asked the former to probe into the matter if there is any need.
“If the Opposition (Congress and NCP) points out, with evidence, that norms have been flouted, we are ready to conduct an inquiry into the purchases,” Fadnavis said.
However, hitting out at the Opposition, he said while they were in power, purchases were made through similar rate contract system (in which material is purchased after negotiations on its rate) and they should also give an explanation for it.
“If the Opposition is alleging that tenders were not issued and norms were flouted, they should remember that our Government Resolution was issued in April while the purchases were cleared before that. Also, while they were in power, a similar rate contract system was being used by them. They should also give an explanation into their purchases. Their double standards will be out then,” he added.
The Chief Minister further said that the government had taken decision to purchase items worth more than Rs one crore by e-tender on April 17, 2015, but the purchases under the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) was for the year 2014-15.
“The previous government had given purchase order of Rs 164 crore during 2012-13, Rs 127 crore in 2013-14 and Rs 56 crore in June-July 2014 by the same rate contract,” he said further and added that the ICDS had approved purchase orders to registered contractors only.
“If ICDS had not taken the decision, it would not have been possible to use the grants available before March 31, 2015, and it would have got lapsed, thereby adversely affecting the beneficiaries,” Fadnavis said.
He further said that the purchases under the ICDS were to provide nutritious food toanganwadis.
“The purchase in Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) that has created controversy is baseless. The concerned minister, Pankaja Munde, called me and said that I can order any probe into the matter if I feel the need,” he told the media here.
Fadnavis had yesterday met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi after which he said there was “no prima facie evidence” of any wrongdoing.
Maharashtra CM, however, did not rule out ordering a probe but said it will be only after analysing the “minute details”.