MUMBAI: Maharashtra Minister for Women and Child Development Pankaja Munde on Wednesday said that two state laboratories had certified that the chikki distributed by her department to the Anganwadi students was not contaminated. Pankaja stands accused of clearing purchases totalling Rs 206 crore in a single day by flouting the rules in connection with the purchase procedure.
There were complaints from several districts regarding the quality of the chikki (groundnut candy). In Ahmednagar, clay and mud was found in the chikki, which was supposed to be a nutritious snack for the students. “We tested the chikki at two government laboratories in Pune and Nashik. No contamination has been found in it. The laboratories have certified that the chikki was indeed fit for human consumption,” she said.
The Congress, however, has rejected the laboratories’ findings. “It is possible that the lab reports might be incorrect because there is huge discrepancy between the ground reality and the findings on the paper,” said state Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant. He referred to a report by Express in the case of alleged narcotics drug Mephedrone found in the locker of a police head constable Dharmaraj Kalokhe to underscore the fact that the ground reality could be a long way off.