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DMK may puncture Jaya's bicycle scheme
April 04, 2006 15:21 IST
The controversy surrounding the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam government's 'Free Bicycle Scheme' has deepened with Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam president M Karunanidhi reiterating his charges of corruption in the scheme providing free bicycles to poor school students.
Hours after AIADMK election wing secretary and Public Works Minister O Panneerselvam refuted the charge, the DMK leader, in a statement in Chennai on Monday night, said the very fact that the minister had accepted a 'minor technical lapse' in the tender process showed that all was not well with the scheme.
Alleging that an irregularity had taken place, whether minor or major, he sought to know that when four firms had quoted a basic price of Rs 1,881 per cycle and the same had been accepted, how did the government invite a particular manufacturer alone and reduce the price to Rs 1,720 per cycle.
"This clearly indicated that favouritism was shown to the company," he said, adding that if all the four firms had quoted the same price, it was only fair that the government held discussions with all of them.
Karunanidhi also questioned the need for the government to hurriedly issue a clarification Government Order with respect to sales order and issuing it in the name of the development commissioner, instead of the finance secretary.
"Where is the necessity for Chief Secretary N Narayanan to interfere in the matter and whether it is correct to issue a clarification GO when the tender process is on," the DMK leader queried, also wanting to know whether it was correct if an Indian Administrative Service officer in the tender committee raised objection to the issuing of a clarification GO in the matter.
Describing the charges as bereft of facts and totally baseless, Panneerselvam said the allegations, strangely in the form of queries, deserved to be condemned totally.