PIL petitioner says Orissa CM involved in dal scam

Written by: Pti
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Naveen Patnaik
Cuttack, Mar 8: An additional affidavit has been filed in the Orissa High Court by a petitioner of a PIL alleging that Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had a role in the multi-crore dal (pulses) scam, which has already seen the ouster of a minister.

Annexing several documents, advocate Dilip Mohapatra filed the additional affidavit, as the PIL filed by him earlier in this connection, is now being adjudicated by the bench of the Chief Justice. The HC has already issued a notice to the government.

Appearing for the petitioner, Congress leader and senior counsel Narasingha Mishra submitted the additional affidavit yesterday (Mar 7).

Questioning as to why Naveen Patnaik wrote a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh seeking to hike the price of ''arhar'' dal for Mid Day Meal and Supplementary Nutrition Programme, from Rs 36 per kg to Rs 70 per kg in July 2009, when the market price of the commodity was between Rs 48 and Rs 58 per kg in the state.

"The letter to enhance the dal price was done with malafide intention and to help the contractors who were supplying dal for the two welfare schemes," the affidavit said.

The affidavit also claimed that this was done even as the Supreme Court had repeatedly objected to involvement of contractors in the supply of food items under the schemes.

The affidavit further noted that the state government ignored a report given by the then revenue divisional commissioner of Sambalpur in Nov, 2010 in which it was stated that the contractors were supplying arhar dal for the welfare schemes at a price of Rs 75 per kg when the market price of the same in the locality is between Rs 45 and Rs 50.

Similarly, the affidavit also annexed a letter from the Centre written in Aug 2010 in which it was mentioned that the dal supplied in some centers in Gop block of Puri district was highly infected and unfit for human consumption.

The affidavit questioned the intention of the state government in not taking action against the erring contractors.


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