BJP MLA Madhu Srivastav quits party over Baroda Dairy scam

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Vadodara, Nov 14 (UNI) Controversial BJP legislator Madhu Srivastav whose name cropped up in the infamous Best Bakery case resigned from the primary membership of the party after the state registrar of co-operatives slapped a Rs 17 lakh recovery notice to him in connection with the Baroda Dairy's pouch milk packing scam.

Soon after receiving the notice yesterday, Mr Srivastav, who is also the chairman of the Baroda Dairy, sent his resignation letter to state BJP President Purushottam Rupala expressing strong displeasure over the issue.

The sudden decision of the firebrand ruling BJP MLA from Waghodia to resign from the party and the state assembly has created resentment in the party rank and file with three other government-nominated members in the Baroda Dairy board of directors -- Rangesh Patel, Chandravadan Patel and Kirti Singh tendering their resignation on the issue.

Taking strong exception to the registrar P Sompura's notice, Mr Srivastav denied having any role in the pouch packing scam that took place during 2004-06 much before he was elected to the dairy in July, 2007. ''It is the handiwork of my opponents, who are out to tarnish my political image. I will take up the matter with Chief Minister Narendra Modi,'' the three-time MLA from Waghodia constituency in the district warned.

The registrar had issued notices to the dairy chairman and 18 other members of the BJP-controlled board of directors after an audit report allegedly held the board responsible for the Rs 17 lakh loss suffered by the dairy in awarding pouch packing contract at a high rate in violation of the agreed norms and procedure.

Rejecting the registrar's notice to him as illegal, Mr Srivastava said, ''I am the person who actually unearthed the scam committed by previous Congress-ruled board headed by Ajit Thakore, and finally succeeded in winning the elections in 2007 on the very issue.'' The BJP MLA was earlier caught on camera in a controversial Tehelka sting operation, which showed him admitting that Best Bakery carnage prime witness Zaheera Sheikh had taken Rs 18 lakh to turn hostile before Vadodara trial court.

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