BJP seeks probe into dal scam by SC committee

BJP seeks probe into dal scam by SC committee

Accusing the state government of flouting procedures prescribed by Supreme Court and Orissa High Court on procurement of pulses, senior BJP leader Bijoy Mohapatra told reporters that sub-standard and adulterated pulses were supplied for MDM and Supplementary Nutrition Programme (SNP).

The apex court on a petition by Peoples Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) had ordered in 2004 that contractors would not supply food, mainly for Integrated Child Development Scheme(ICDS) programmes but Orissa government had continued to violate the directive, he said.

The irregularities continued for the past 8 years for schemes implemented by women and child development department involving 1.06 crore beneficiaries as the state government failed to take any step despite its affidavit in Supreme Court, he said.

The state government also failed to take action on the May 2010 High court directive for scrutiny, monitoring and verification to ensure continuous supply of quality arhar dal at reasonable prices, Mohapatra said.

Though HC ordered formation of a committee comprising secretaries of civil supplies, agriculture and WCD to monitor supply of pulses, no action was taken in this regard, he said.

Claiming that around Rs 525 crore was spent for purchase of about 70,000 ton pulses annually, the BJP leader said irregularities to the tune of Rs 700 crore took place iprocess for which officials, WCD minister and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik are responsible.

"Since the state government had been rejecting demands for CBI probe into several other scams, the Supreme Court should form a committee to probe serious irregularities committed in supply of dal," he said adding state vigilance wing too had also provided some information on it.

Reacting to the charges, the chief minister said "We are waiting for report from the anti-corrpution vigilance wing ... and action will be taken."