Orissa vigilance submits preliminary report on dal scam

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Bhubaneswar, Feb 3 (PTI) The vigilance department hassubmitted the much-awaited preliminary report to Orissagovernment on the Rs 700 crore dal scam.

"The vigilance department has submitted its preliminaryreport on alleged irregularities in the dal purchase case tothe chief secretary yesterday," chief minister Naveen Patnaiktold reporters here this evening.

The vigilance report is significant as Patnaik twodays ago had said that the government would take stern actionagainst those involved in the dal scam after getting thepreliminary report of the vigilance.

Vigilance was probing into supply and distribution ofbad quality pulses to children and women under mid-day-meal(MDM) and supplementary nutrition programme(SNP).

Women and child development department was the nodalagency through which the pulses were being given to about 9.5million beneficiaries including 5 million school children.

Admitting that there was large-scale irregularities inthe supply of pulses under MDM and SNP, WCD minister PramilaMallik said "sub-standard pulses were supplied due to lack ofproper supervision by the authorities."

Refusing to tender resignation over the scam thatdirectly affected the children and women, Mallik said thestate government had already taken action against some peopleand would take further action after vigilance inquiry.

Mallik''s brother, an NGO leader, had resigned from thestate level monitoring committee which was responsible formonitoring supply of pulses for the MDM and SNP programme.

Opposition Congress and BJP had meanwhile demandedresignation of Mallik over the irregularities.

The BJP Central Committee today decided to send itsnational secretary Kirit Somaiya on a two day visit to Orissafrom February 7 to�probe the scam after making field visit.

Both the opposition parties were, in fact waiting forthe Orissa assembly''s budget session likely to begin fromFebruary 14.

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