New Delhi, Jul 22: The Congress-led UPA governement had to face the wrath of Bharatiya Janta Party and the Communist parties on Monday, Jul 20 over the alleged rice scam involving private traders and bureaucrats in export of non-Basmati rice to Africa.
Both BJP and the Left who raised this issue during the zero hour in Rajya Sabha demanded a high-level probe into the entire deal which was exposed in Africa.
While BJP's Balbir Punj compared this scam to the Bofors scam, CPI leader D Raja said that the food and commerce ministries must be held responsible for the Rs 2,500 crore deal.
Balbir Punj who gained support from the CPM leaders Sitaram Yechury and Brinda Karat said that the rice was bought at the PDS prices and sold at higher rates.
As a measure to control inflation, the centre had banned exports of non-Basmati rice in Apr 2008. However, later export of up to 20 lakh tonnes of non-Basmati rice through diplomatic channels, mainly to African nations was allowed.
Balbir Punj also pointed out that even if the MoUs were signed with the African countries like Ghana and Sierra Leone, the rice shipments were not delivered to the African countries.