Athawale defends Pankaja; says Cong attempting to malign her

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Mumbai, Jun 26: Amid escalating controversy surrounding BJP leader Pankaja Munde over contracts allegedly being awarded without inviting tenders, RPI(A) President Ramdas Athawale today came out in support of the OBC leader saying deliberate attempts were being made to target her.

Read more: Maha embarrassment! BJP Minister Pankaja Munde faces Rs 206 crore corruption chrage

"There is a deliberate attempt being made by the Congress to malign the name of an OBC leader who has massive support of the people.

Scam: Athawale defends Pankaja

There cannot be any doubts about her integrity," Athawale told reporters here. He added that it was "ironical" for the Congress to talk about corruption when the party itself has been accused of being a part of several scams in the past.

"Pankaja Munde is ready for a probe against her if allegations levelled by the opposition are found to be prima facie true. When she herself is ready, there should be inquiry into the irregularities in awarding contracts, but, the inquiry should be open and transparent," he demanded.

Meanwhile, the Congress, who led an agitation against Munde outside her residence said she will be welcomed with good quality 'chikkis', once she returns from abroad. "Where is (BJP leader) Kirit Somaiya now? He was always seen to be making rounds of the Enforcement Directorate and the ACB but he seems to have gone into hiding now.

He should be the first person to complain against the wrongdoings of the party leader," Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam said. "We are waiting for Pankaja to come back from her foreign tour. We have decided to give her a warm welcome by distributing good quality chikkis at the airport," Nirupam added.

PTI 

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