Tatkare rules out resignation over red wheat issue

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Mumbai, Jun 24 (UNI) Brushing aside BJP leader Kirit Somaiya's demand for his resignation over the imported red wheat issue, the Maharashtra Food and Civil Supplies Minister Sunil Tatkare today said it was politically motivated and asserted that not a grain of the wheat has been sold in the state since last October.

Addressing a press conference at Mantralaya here, the Minister said the government has started the disposal process of the controversial imported red wheat.

He said, ''We have instructed the additional collectors in all the districts to ascertain quality of the wheat before it could be sold for human consumption''.

According to Tatkare, the 9th May order issued by his department clearly stated that if the state health laboratory approves a sample of wheat for human consumption then only the additional collectors should issue the tender notices for sale of the wheat. Out of 657 samples sent to the labs, reports of 600 samples have come. 257 samples have been approved for human consumption, he said.

He clarified that the additional collectors are empowered to decide which wheat is to be sold for human consumption and which is to go for cattle feed. The wheat, which is not fit for any of these categories, would be discarded, Mr Tatkare said.

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