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COVID-19 relief material being 'diverted' to open market in Punjab: SAD chief


Press Trust of India  |  Ferozepur 

SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal on Friday alleged that a large quantity of foodgrain, which was part of the relief material sent by the Centre in the wake of COVID-19 outbreak, was being "diverted" to the open market by some Congress leaders in Punjab.

The opposition leader sought a CBI probe into the matter and said he has brought the issue to the notice of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

"A large amount of wheat and pulses sent by the Centre for 1.40 crore Punjabis found its way to the open market via Congress leaders," Badal was quoted as saying in an official statement.

Badal said "it was shocking that migrant labourers slept hungry in Punjab, but the state government allowed the diversion of wheat and pulses to Congress leaders who in turn sold the stocks in the open market".

He claimed that the food stock was meant for half of the state's population but it did not reach even 10 per cent of the people.

"The magnitude of the fraud is mind boggling. All Congressmen responsible for this crime should be brought to book immediately," he alleged.

The Shiromani Akali Dal chief also alleged that the liquor mafia in league with some Congress leaders and legislators had caused a loss of Rs 5,600 crore to the state exchequer by allowing liquor from distilleries without payment of excise duty on the same.

He further alleged that several distilleries supplied extra neutral alcohol to some Congress leaders for running illegal liquor bottling plants.

On Punjab Pradesh Congress president Sunil Jakhar's reported claim that the SAD should bring a resolution in the Assembly to ban liquor in the state, Badal said the Congress party had an absolute majority in the Vidhan Sabha and it could easily do this on its own.

Badal on Friday sent 50,000 quintals of wheat to the Golden Temple in Amritsar.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, May 22 2020. 20:05 IST