With a grim drought stalking Maharashtra, the Bharatiya Janata Party on Friday criticised the Congress-Nationalist Congress Party alliance, accusing its leaders of fattening themselves on “high quality food” while the public bore the brunt of the calamitous situation.
Speaking in the Assembly, Leader of Opposition Eknath Khadse alleged that the General Administration Department (GAD) had invited tenders amounting to Rs. 100 crore to supply ‘high quality food’ to the residences of Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and his Deputy Ajit Pawar.
“While the State’s public reel under the impact of drought, its insensitive leaders are feeding themselves on rich food at Varsha [Mr. Chavan’s residence] and Devgiri [Mr. Pawar’s residence] here,” Mr. Khadse said, reading out a litany of corruption charges faced by Congress-NCP Ministers.
According to the March 8 notice issued by the GAD, tenders were invited ‘to supply food items of a suitably high quality for the period from April 1, 2013 to March 31, 2014’ to the residences of the Chief Minister and his Deputy.
However, a clarification issued from the Chief Minister’s Office in the evening said the amount was Rs. 1 crore, and not Rs. 100 crore. According to it, while tender notices were printed correctly in Marathi newspapers, the ‘Rs. 100 crore gaffe’ occurred in a prominent English afternoon daily.