Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) President Sukhbir Singh Badal urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to order a probe into the embezzlement of central rations by Congressmen in Punjab besides favoritism in the distribution of food grain and pulses to Congress supporters.
The SAD president, in a letter to the Prime Minister, simultaneously also requested that ration being sent under the extended Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) scheme be monitored stringently through central observers to ensure ration received under the scheme is not pilfered and sold in the open market or distributed among Congress supporters again.
He also urged the PM to ensure necessary measures were taken to ensure the poor were not discriminated against during the distribution of central food grain relief.
Stating that it was of utmost importance that the central relief is distributed impartially on merit without any politicization whatsoever, Sukhbir Badal said even though the centre had sent 70,725 metric tonnes of grain besides 10,000 metric tonnes of pulses to Punjab, the same was not distributed among the people.
“While only one percent of the entire food grain stock was distributed during the month of April when the curfew was imposed in Punjab and people needed the ration the most, later the Punjab government abrogated its responsibility towards the people and handed over the ration to Congressmen for distribution. Subsequently, a major part of the central ration was embezzled by Congressmen even as they distributed part it to their supporters only”.
He said that this has worsened the plight of the poor and weaker sections of society who had to rely on social and religious organizations including the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) for basic food items. “Had it not been for these good Samaritans there could have been starvation deaths in the State”, Badal told the Prime Minister.