Millennium Post

Amarinder corners Badal govt over foodgrain scam

Hitting out at the Badals over the alleged multi-crore foodgrains scam, Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh today vowed to recover every penny of the public money from the "corrupt Badal and company" once the party came back to power in the state.

"We will make sure that the money stolen by the Badals is brought back into the state s coffers once we are back in reign. We shall not hesitate to initiate legal action against the Badals," he said here.

The senior Congress leader alleged that the Badals have been looting the state ever since they formed the government in 2007 and the scam was their "crowning glory" in corruption, while condemning the SAD government's attempts to cover up the scandal by converting it into a loan.

He said when he took over the reins of the state from the Akalis in 2002, Punjab's outstanding Central debt amounted to Rs 4,500 crore.

It is only since the Badals came back to power that the state has again been plunged into an intense debt trap, Singh said.

The PCC chief claimed that with the latest Rs 30,000 crore loan from RBI restructured, the state will reel under a debt burden of Rs 50,000 crore for the next 20 years.

"I will not allow the Badals to get away with it. Nobody involved in the scam will be spared at any cost. The people of Punjab cannot be made to pay for the ill-doings of Badals," Singh said.

In its complaint to the Vigilance Bureau in April this year, the state Congress had pointed out that the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had prima facie concluded that the disappearance of stocks worth Rs 32,000 crore was a case of misappropriation of Central funds and diversion of food grain.

Of the 3,319 trucks that were claimed to have been used by the state procurement agencies for transporting the grains, CAG had, in a random check of their registration numbers, found that 87 vehicles were actually two-wheelers and cars, Singh said.

The remaining could not be traced, clearly indicating that the grain never reached the stores but in fact disappeared from the market itself, party spokesman Sunil Jhakar had said.

The Punjab Congress has already demanded a probe into the matter by either the Central Bureau of Investigation or a High Court judge.
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