Telangana Congress seeks CBI probe into corruption in rice supply

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Opposition Congress party in Telangana on Wednesday demanded a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the alleged malpractices and corruption in rice supply to the Food Corporation of India (FCI).

The Congress party submitted a memorandum to Governor Tamilisai Soundararjan, seeking a CBI probe in the light of a statement by central minister G. Kishan Reddy that the Telangana government did not handover the paddy/rice of more than 8 lakh tonnes to FCI that was procured in the last two Kharif seasons.

Kishan Reddy raised doubts about where that rice was lying and wondered if it was siphoned off in the black-market.

Congress leaders said if the allegations made by the responsible union minister are correct, they are serious charges of corruption worth thousands of crores. “Hence, we request an inquiry by the CBI and punish the culprits, however big positions they are holding in the state government,” the opposition party demanded.

A delegation of Congress leaders led by state party chief A. Revanth Reddy called on the governor at Raj Bhavan and submitted a memorandum on various issues.

Alleging that the state Cabinet at its meeting on Tuesday took irrational decisions, they sought the governor’s intervention as a custodian of the Indian Constitution to protect the interests of the people of Telangana.

The Congress alleged that Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao purposefully created uncertainty, confusion, and delayed paddy procurement during Rabi, and as a result, nearly 35-40 per cent farmers were already exploited and forced to sell their paddy to middlemen and millers at extremely distressed prices. It claimed that farmers were subjected to massive losses worth Rs 3,000-4,000 crores. “It is so irresponsible on the part of Chief Minister that what could have been managed with an approximate loss of Rs 1000 crore, has now gone up to a loss of Rs 3000-4000 crore and also caused serious mental agony,” the Congress leaders said and urged the governor to direct the government to repay at least all those losses to farmers.

They also alleged that due to threats made at the behest of the chief minister, farmers have forcibly abandoned paddy and adopted alternate crops such as Black Gram, Green Gram, Red Gram, Bengal Gram, Jowar, Corn, Ragi, Foxtail, peas etc, on approximately 15-16 lakh acres of land.

Stating that middlemen are also exploiting these farmers as the state government is only engrossed in paddy politics, they demanded the governor’s intervention to ensure the MSP for these alternate crops.

The Congress also requested the governor to intervene to reverse the ‘unprecedented’ hike in electricity tariffs. It also voiced concern that the accumulated losses of power distribution companies have mounted to Rs 60,000 due to lopsided policies of the TRS government.

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