BJP to move HC on wheat import issue

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Mumbai, Nov 18: BJP leader Dr Kirit Somaiya, along with Adivasi leader and former MP Chintaman Vanga, is filing a Public Interest Petition (PIL) on the import of red wheat in the Mumbai High Court on November 20.

The PIL is to be filed against the central and Maharashtra Governments, Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, CBI, STC, FCI and also the State Civil Supplies Minister Sunil Tatkare for the import and distribution of 'rotten, insect-infected red wheat'.

Talking to reporters, Dr Somaiya said inspite of Human Rights Commission directing to stop further import and distribution of the wheat, the Centre is opening another import tender on November 19.

This wheat is going to cost Rs 18 to Rs 20 per kg. The retail and wholesale prices of better quality wheat in India are stable for the past two months ranging from Rs 10 to Rs 12 per kg, he claimed.

Somaiya said he would be attaching documentary evidence about the wheat import scam. Rs 4,000 crore of the Government Exchequer-- tax payers' money-- has been lost to the multinationals by the UPA Government, he claimed.

The Human Rights Commission, in its order on the Petition of Somaiya, had observed that , ''Considering the facts that a human being is required to live in a dignified manner and living for the same is to be provided proper food, fit for human consumption, it is recommended that the State Government shall in future while importing wheat and or any other food items make an endeavour to see that the same should be fit for human consumption''.

In its final order of November 14, 2007, the Commission states that ''it is clear that the State Government has virtually accepted the grievances voiced in the Petition. Now the State Government has taken the policy decision not to distribute red imported wheat, which is of inferior quality through PDS, ration shops.'' Meanwhile, Dr Somaiya alleged that despite the announcement that the State Government would not distribute 33,000 million tonnes red wheat, lying in godowns, meetings are on in Mantralaya to sell the same to bakery and flour mills.


UNI

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