The name of Chiman Saparia is being mentioned by Congress as being the kingpin of Gujarat’s groundnut purchase scam. Saparia was the Agriculture Minister when the purchase was done. The worst part is Congress is making a credible political issue BJP can ill-afford to ignore when the 2019 Lok Sabha elections are looming on the horizon, feel political pundits.
It is this thought that is disturbing Chief Minister Vijay Rupani. A scam of Rs. 4000 crore is not an easy to forget issue. According to police officials, in each sack of 35 kg, more than 10 kg mud and sand was mixed while the same quantity of groundnut was stolen away and sold to millers.
Leader of the Opposition Paresh Dhanani has alleged that there is a direct involvement of Rupani as his Jamjodhpur Cooperative purchased groundnut, which was found mixed with mud and sand.
Dhanani has been campaigning in Saurashtra districts to expose the role of members associated with the ruling party. Dhanani alleged that the former BJP minister is being shielded while small-time foot soldiers are being arrested.
Earlier, Indian Cooperative published a story of local BJP leaders who indulged in large-scale bungling in the procurement. We got this story from a senior BJP leader who did not want his name to be quoted.
The role of the Warehousing Corporation of the state must also be probed. After it came to know (or allowed) of the mixing it secretly planned to set such godwns on fire to cover the scam, alleged the senior BJP leader.
Indian Cooperative has learnt that the Warehousing Corporation reeks of corruption and Chief Minister is aware of it but he fights sigh of the issue.
It’s a collusion of BJP local leaders, local cooperatives, godowns owners – Warehousing Corporation and some of the NAFED officials who dealt with Agri-Star, said a highly placed source who has been privy to the sleazy affairs from the beginning.
Meanwhile, in a related development former Nafed Chairman Bijender Singh has also spoken strongly in favour of current Nafed Chairman V R Patel. In a short message sent to Indian Cooperative Singh wrote “I second Sunil Kumar Singh’s words on V R Patel. Patel is an icon of honesty and fair play. Entire Board stands by him”, he concluded.