Threatening to sit on a 72-hour fast in connection with the alleged Rs 4,000-crore groundnut scam, senior Congress leader and Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Paresh Dhanani on Tuesday alleged that the BJP government in the state was also “involved in a scam” involving purchase of hessian (jute) sacks from Bangladesh to pack groundnut.
Addressing mediapersons in Gandhinagar on Tuesday, Dhanani said that “a new scam” involving procurement of sacks for packing groundnut has surfaced. According to him, the sacks, made of jute fibre, were imported through some agencies from Bangladesh and about Rs 50 crore in excess was reported to have been paid by the government.
Dhanani said that an investigation was required to know from whom the sacks were purchased, at what prices and how many sacks were bought. “How many of them have been used and how many are left unused, and where are these empty bags,” he added.
He expressed the apprehension that “the origins of the hessian sacks scam lay in Bangladesh’’.
Stating that despite raising the demand for a judicial probe into the groundnut procurement several times, the BJP government in the state has not acted on it so far. “I will sit on a 72-hour fast again if the state government continues to refuse to order a judicial probe into the alleged Rs 4,000-crore groundnut scam purchased on minimum support price by various agencies approved by NAFED.”
Dhanani had earlier sat on a 72-hour hunger strike in Amreli on the same issue.
‘Rs 1 lakh-crore scam in farm subsidy’
The Congress leader also alleged that the BJP government committed a scam of Rs 1 lakh crore in the last three years through agriculture subsidy. Alleging that the BJP government had given a licence to private companies to “loot’’ farmers through what he called the “Modi-fication” of crop insurance scheme, Dhanani demanded that the licences of private insurance companies be cancelled and benefits be given to the farmers through village panchayats directly.