After the senior Vice-President, the junior one Sunil Kumar Singh has also come forward in the defense of NAFED Chairman V R Patel in the wake of media reports that one of his (Patel’s) nephews has been arrested by Gujarat police on charges of mixing sand and gravel with groundnuts.
Reacting to Indian Cooperative news report “NAFED: Resignation demand builds up as Chairman’s nephew arrested” Sunil said Patel himself is an example of honesty and such charges have no meaning. Only because somebody’s surname is Vadiya does not mean he is the nephew of Patel, as all Singhs could not be relatives of Sunil Singh”, he tried to clarify. Magan Zalavadiya has been named as the main accused by the Gujarat police.
Meanwhile, in a fast-paced development VR Patel-a Congressman quit the party fold feeling guilty of having called the first press conference on the issue under Congress banner. Coming into his defense State Congress Spokesman Manish Doshi said Patel has resigned on his own and there was no pressure from the party. The Congress leader also demanded resignation of Dillep Sanghani saying he owes responsibility for being the Vice-President of Nafed.
Seeking explanation from Congress on Patel’s resignation, BJP Minister R C Faldu demanded his resignation from Nafed too. The main accused happens to be his nephew, Faldu added. Faldu also expressed his plan to apprise the Union Agriculture Ministry of the alleged hanky-panky indulged in by some of the Nafed bosses.
Though at the state level, the Nafed episode has become a political slug-fest between BJP and Congress, cooperators in Delhi are displaying unique solidarity with BJP’s Sanghani supporting Congress’s V R Patel and vice-versa.
Explaining the chemistry, the second Vice-Chairman Sunil Singh said “cooperators do not play politics and the entire Board of Nafed stands solidly behind Patel on the issue. ”We would support him at all costs”, he added. Sunil, who is also the Chairman of Bihar State Co-op Marketing Federation BISCOMAUN said Patel is a careful man and is the one who would guide his fellow cooperators through every tricky situation. We regard him as an honest cooperator and we vouch for his moral correctness , he underlined.
Sunil, however, admitted that some of the Nafed officials may be responsible for the episode as cooperative leaders have shown -carefulness after the tie-up episode, said Sunil. It bears recall that the name of “Agri Star”-entrusted wiith the job of certifying the quality of groundnuts is cropping in this context.
“None of us, I mean, cooperative leaders- have ever met any of the representative of Agri Star and it mostly deals with the officers of Nafed. We have no idea who recruited this agency and how have they bungled up – these questions should be better asked to the Nafed officials”, the Vice-President said candidly.
“Trust me we have grown extra-careful after the tie-up episode and no leader in his senses would ever attempt any wrong-doing; that era is over”, Sunil said passionately.
It bears recall that the Gujarat Police took into custody several people including a warehousing manager of Gujarat State Co-Operative Cotton Federation Limited (GUJCOT) for their alleged involvement in adulteration of groundnuts bought from farmers in cahoots with the cooperative society of Junagadh.
The police had registered a complaint for adulteration of 31,000 bags of groundnut stored at a godown in Pedhla village. Magan Zalavadiya the main accused was responsible for mixing soil and gravel with groundnuts.
Cooperators like Sanghani fear that more such cases would crop when the groundnut godowns are opened in future.