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Groundnut scam: NAFED chief, Guj govt engage in blame game

Press Trust of India  |  Ahmedabad 

A war of words broke out today between and the government over the alleged adulteration of groundnuts, with the former accusing the BJP dispensation of appointing a "bankrupt" entity for procurement of groundnuts in the state.

hit back at Boda saying the latter was shying away from taking the responsibility of the alleged scam and instead blaming the government.

Boda, who is not a member of Congress, during his address at the 'extended committee meet' of Tankara taluka Committee in district today said that although Gujarat State Co-Operative Cotton (GUJCOT) is a bankrupt entity, it was chosen by the state to procure groundnuts from farmers on behalf of (NAFED) National Agriculture Co-operative Marketing Federation of India).

"GUJCOT is a bankrupt entity. It went bankrupt because of corruption. Despite this, the had chosen GUJCOT to procure groundnuts. Almost 80 per cent of the entire procurement was done by this agency alone," Boda said.

"It was equally surprising that many bankrupt milk cooperative societies (mandali) of Banaskantha and Sabarkantha were given the responsibility of procurement," he added.

According to Lalit Kagathara, MLA from Tankara seat, Boda was invited by the party for being an 'influential person' of district.

"Boda is a native of Tankara. He is also the vice of (Krishak Bharati Cooperative Ltd). He is a leading personality in cooperative sector. Though he is not with the in any capacity, we had invited him today" the MLA told

However, Boda's remarks did not go down well with the government as said that he was "shocked" to learn about chief's remarks about state government's role.

He alleged that Boda's presence at the Congress meet has proved that he is with the opposition party.

"It was which was solely responsible for the procurement, storage and re-sale of the stock. The Gujarat government was only helping NAFED in that process. It is shocking that Boda made these remarks at a Congress meet," Patel told reporters at Gandhinagar.

"While Boda or any of the NAFED officials did not approach the police to lodge a complaint despite repeated requests by the police, it was the which took immediate steps, following which, as many as 27 people have been arrested so far," said Patel.

The deputy CM even put Boda in the dock over the arrest of his nephew Rohit Boda, saying the NAFED chief first needs to clarify the involvement of his relative in the alleged scam of mixing soil and pebbles in the procured groundnuts.

So far, police have arrested 27 persons, including officials of NAFED and GUJCOT in connection with groundnut adulteration with soil and pebbles found in sacks of government procured groundnut stored at a godown at Pedhla village in Jetpur taluka of district a week back.

The matter came to light after the traders who bought the groundnut found them to be sub-standard with high level of adulteration.

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

First Published: Wed, August 08 2018. 20:35 IST