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ITS HARVEST TIME FOR MONEY ON PROJECTS – MINISTERS PUSH UP WORK TENDERS ON THE EVE OF ELECTION CODE OF CONDUCT

There is hectic activity in Mantralaya following rumours of the imposition of an early code of conduct for the assembly elections. Everyone, including CM Ashok Chavan is reportedly asking to clear the files fast, and come up with schemes which can be announced before the code comes into force. Minister of state for home Nitin Raut recently underwent an eye surgery at JJ Hospital but he did not let the operation come in the way of clearing files. He has directed his staff in Mantralaya to send “all the files” to his bungalow for clearance. Minister for social welfare Chandrakant Handore, who has spent crores of rupees on development projects in his constituency Chembur, is scouting for more opportunities to start fresh projects before the code comes into force. Officials are also facing pressure to award contracts worth crores of rupees without floating tenders. For example, Mhada officials are under pressure from Mantralaya to award a contract for computers valued at about Rs 20 crore to a controversial company by bypassing the tender process. A senior official of the election commission said there were indications that assembly polls in Maharashtra “would be held along with those in Haryana and Jharkhand.

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