BJP team to visit Orissa over pulses scam


Bhubaneswar: A central team of the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will visit Orissa next week over an alleged scam related to supplying poor quality pulses to beneficiaries of government welfare schemes, a party leader said Thursday.

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State BJP president Jual Oram said the party’s national secretary Kirit Somaiya will make an on-the-spot assessment of the irregularities in the supply of poor quality “dal” (pulses) to children and women under welfare schemes.

Somaiya will visit several districts Feb 7-8. Leaders of the state unit will also accompany him, he told IANS here.

The alleged scam came to light after the state vigilance department last month claimed that there were irregularities in the supply of pulses to children and women at several places.

The vigilance department has not registered any case yet but it submitted a report to the government last week seeking approval to widen the probe.

Oram alleged that the government led by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik was shielding the culprits involved in the scam.

“He (Patnaik) has been playing with the lives of millions of children and women in the state by providing them poor quality dal,” Oram said, alleging that the scam involved a bungling of more than Rs.3,000 crore.

The state government supplies pulses under the mid-day meal scheme, the integrated child development scheme and the supplementary nutrition programme.