A war of words broke out today between NAFED chairman Vaghji Boda and the Gujarat 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.
Boda, who is not a member of Gujarat Congress, during his address at the 'extended executive committee meet' of Tankara taluka Congress Committee in Morbi district today said that although Gujarat State Co-Operative Cotton Federation Ltd (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 state government 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.
"Boda is a native of Tankara. He is also the vice chairman of Kribhco (Krishak Bharati Cooperative Ltd). He is a leading personality in cooperative sector. Though he is not with the Congress in any capacity, we had invited him today" the MLA told PTI.
He alleged that Boda's presence at the Congress meet has proved that he is with the opposition party.
"It was NAFED 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 Rajkot police to lodge a complaint despite repeated requests by the police, it was the state government 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, Rajkot 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 Rajkot 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.)