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Chhattisgarh News
Demanding CBI probe into CSC scam Chhattisgarh Congress stalls House proceedings

RAIPUR: Congress legislators disrupted the proceedings of Chhattisgarh Vidhan Sabha on Tuesday, the second day of the budget session, in pursuance to their demand of a CBI probe into the multi-crore rupees Civil Supplies Corporation (CSC) scam.

The issue of the CSC scam was raised during the zero hour by Congress legislators, who also demanded that the diaries and phone records seized by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) during raids at the Corporation be placed on the floor of the House. Congress MLAs, who were supported on the issue by independent legislators, also moved an adjournment motion, demanding immediate discussion on the alleged scam.

Indulging in slogan shouting, they forced speaker Gaurishankar Agarwal to adjourn the house for 10 minutes. The adjournment motion was later rejected by the Speaker, following responses from Chief Minister, Raman Singh, and Food and Civil Supply Minister, Punnulal Mohle on the issue. The chief minister assured the House that none of the guilty officers in the CSC scam would be spared.

Reiterating that his government had a "zero tolerance" policy towards corruption, the chief minister said the ACB had done a commendable job and its investigations were on the right track. He said this was the first time when the ACB had uncovered a scam worth over Rs 12 crore.

The adjournment motion on the CSC scam was moved by 35 MLAs. Initiating the discussion on the adjournment motion, senior Congress leader, Bhupesh Baghel, said the BJP government's decision to distribute subsidised rice had led to widespread corruption. He also accused the government of attempting to gain political mileage by indulging in distribution of fake ration cards.

He claimed that 70 lakh ration cards were issued by the when there are only 56 lakh families in the state. He said the scam runs into at least Rs 100 crore, as claims were made against 14 lakh fake ration cards. "Each card in entitled to 35 kilos of rice and if this is multiplied @ of Rs 18 per kg, this alone amounts to Rs 88 crore", he said adding that the total scam would run to over Rs 100 crore if transportation and other costs are included.

Baghel claimed that the diaries seized by the ACB during raids contained the names of some politicians also, besides senior officials. He said the ACB had also tapped some phone conversations prior to the raid and they revealed a strong nexus of politicians and officers in the scam. He demanded that the diaries and tapped conversations should be placed on the floor of the house to reveal the truth.

Stating that the opposition had no faith in the investigations, Baghel demanded that the probe should be handed over to the CBI for an impartial inquiry.