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Congress seeks SC monitored SIT probe into Chhattisgarh PDS scam

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New Delhi: The Congress on Saturday demanded a SIT probe monitored by the Supreme Court into the PDS scam in Chhattisgarh and sought the immediate resignation of Chief Minister Raman Singh over the issue.

“We demand that the only way to trace the truth in the biggest PDS corruption scam is an SIT monitored by the Supreme Court. In order for a fair investigation to be held, Raman Singh must be sacked immediately as chief minister,” Congress spokesperson Ajay Maken said.

“India’s biggest PDS corruption scam stands unearthed in Chhattisgarh. In the garb of providing rice at Re.1 per kg under the much touted PDS scheme, the BJP government in Chhattisgarh led by Raman Singh created a well oiled corruption machine in connivance with rice mill owners, PDS shop owners and public officials to earn thousands of crores as kickbacks and commission,” he said.

The Congress leader said there was similar corruption in the procurement of other commodities like salt, gram, kerosene and wheat through the state civil supplies corporation.

He said the magnitude of the scam can be judged from the fact that during the last 11 years of BJP rule in Chhattisgarh, the amount spent from the public exchequer on the procurement of paddy as also procurement and supply of various PDS items through the state civil supplies corporation comes to Rs.1,50,000 crore approximately.

“While this cozy nexus helped the millers and ration shop owners to earn illegal profit by supplying inferior quality of rice, salt and other commodities, it helped politicians led by the chief minister and his ministers and bureaucrats involved to make crores in ill-gotten wealth,” Maken added.

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Massive fire burns records at Patna’s Secretariat, RJD cries foul

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A massive fire broke out at the state Secretariat here, resulting in the destruction of files, records and documents of the Bihar Rural Development Department, even as the opposition RJD on Tuesday smelt a conspiracy to “destroy evidence of scams during the NDA rule”.

According to fire official, the blaze broke out around 11.30 pm on Monday on the ground floor and gradually spread to the first floor of the building. The fire was eventually doused on Tuesday after almost 15 hours.

“The fire broke out on the ground floor. As the Secretariat has its own fire brigade, fire tenders were pressed into service to douse it. However, the fire was intense and we had to sent one dozen more fire tenders to the spot. They continued with firefighting till around 1.30 pm on Tuesday,” said a spokesperson for the Patna fire service.

“The firefighters faced huge difficulties due to intensity of the fire. In the absence of access, dousing of the flames on the second floor was extremely challenging for them. No loss of human life was reported but we believe damage to properties and important documents of the Bihar government,” he added.

Meanwhile, Rashtriya Janata Dal cried foul. Party spokesman Chitranjan Gagan claimed that “it is a criminal conspiracy to destroy official documents and records”.

“The fire did not break out but someone intentionally lit the fire to prevent unearthing of scams in the future.”

“The leaders of NDA allies Janata Dal-United and BJP have realised that their government will not return to power in Bihar. They are now gripped by fear that scams done during the NDA rule will be inquired into when the RJD returns to power in Bihar. Hence, they have destroyed evidence by lighting the fire in the Secretariat building,” Gagan said.

He claimed that the NDA government led by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was involved in over 60 scams, including the Srijan scam in Bhagalpur.

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