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Prosecute Patnaik over pulses scam, BJP tells Orissa governor

Posted by on February 16, 2011 0 Comment

Bhubaneswar, Feb 16 (IANS) A BJP delegation met Orissa Governor M.C. Bhadare Wednesday and submitted a memorandum seeking prosecution of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and his ministers over irregularities in the supply of pulses for children’s mid-day meal scheme.

“We submitted a memorandum to the governor. He gave us a patient hearing and promised us that he will do the needful on the matter,” Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state unit president Jual Oram told reporters.

The party, in its memorandum, alleged that the government has been trying to protect the culprits by not taking any criminal action on the matter and not investigating the reported irregularities across the state, he said.

Describing the recent resignation of Pramila Mallik as the women and child development minister as “a mere eyewash”, the party said a fair inquiry can be conducted only by a central agency like the Central Bureau of Investigation.

The alleged scam came to light after the vigilance department last month claimed that there were irregularities in the purchase of pulses meant for children and women in the state under various welfare schemes.

Pramila Mallik resigned Feb 5 and at least three senior government officers face action over the scandal. The government has also ordered criminal proceedings against those who supplied the low quality pulses.

The BJP had earlier moved the state human rights panel, seeking health check-up of all children and women who consumed the infected pulses. The issue has also cast its shadow on the budget session of the state assembly, which began Monday, with the opposition disrupting the proceedings of the house and seeking resignation of Naveen Patnaik.

Oram said his party has requested the governor to take appropriate action for criminal prosecution of the chief minister and all other concerned, including ministers, secretaries of the departments and district collectors who are culpable for commission of the crime.

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