Our people don’t even know how to take bribe: BJP minister Pankaja Munde

NEW DELHI: Not new to controversies, BJP leader and Maharashtra Minister Pankaja Munde has now raised eyebrows with her remark that “our people don’t even know how to take (bribe) money”.

“Aapalya lokanna paisa kasa khayacha te kalat nahi, kothehee sahyaa kartaat. (Our people do not even know how to take money (bribe). They sign any paper),” said the Women and Child Welfare Minister, who was last month given a clean chit in the ‘chikki’ case by the Anti-Corruption Bureau, at a meet in Neknoor village in Beed district.

Local news channels aired the video of her purported remarks made on January 5 evening while speaking at the rally in her native district, around 375 km from here in central Maharashtra.

Munde, who is the daughter of late BJP leader Gopinath Munde, is also the Guardian Minister of Beed and Latur districts in Marathwada.

The Minister was last month given a clean chit by the ACB in the ‘chikki’ case pertaining to alleged irregularities in awarding contracts for buying materials worth Rs 206 crore for schoolchildren. One of these items included ‘chikki’ (sweetmeat made with nuts and jaggery).

In April last year, she had drawn flak for posting selfies while reviewing water conservation works in drought-hit Latur.

Addressing the rally, she said Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis asks officials to consult her on decisions related to her home district.

“The Chief Minister asks officials to consult me before taking any decision related to Beed district. This is an example of the administrative clout I possess.