Revanth alleges multi-crore scam in paddy procurement, demands CBI probe

Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee president A Revanth Reddy
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Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee president A Revanth Reddy (File/Photo)

Highlights

Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) President & MP A. Revanth Reddy demanded a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the alleged theft of lakhs of tonnes of rice from the godowns of Food Corporation of India.

Hyderabad/New Delhi: Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) President & MP A. Revanth Reddy demanded a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the alleged theft of lakhs of tonnes of rice from the godowns of Food Corporation of India.

Referring to the statement made by Union Agriculture Minister Piyush Goyal in the Rajya Sabha saying that discrepancies were found in the rice stocks and registers when the Central teams went for a physical verification, he said that the Centre should've ordered a CBI probe then and there itself.

Addressing a press conference in New Delhi on Monday, Revanth Reddy said that rice procured by the FCI has allegedly been stolen from its godowns in Telangana. He said this was revealed when a team of FCI visited a godown in Warangal and found that nearly 25,000 MTs of rice were missing/stolen. "This was just the tip of an iceberg. If 25,000 MTs of rice were stolen from just one godown, then imagine the magnitude of theft from all other godowns. This is a huge multi-crore scam involving TRS leaders, millers and officials," he alleged.

Stating that the BJP Govt was working in tandem with the TRS Govt, he said that the Centre should've immediately ordered a CBI probe after it found 25,000 MTs rice missing from the FCI godown. He said that the Centre must have investigated as to why there was a huge gap in the actual procurement and the figures furnished by TRS Govt. However, all irregularities were hushed up with both TRS and BJP leaders stating fresh dramas on paddy procurement, he alleged.

Revanth Reddy said that the Congress was seeking the appointment of Agriculture Minister Piyush Goyal to seek CBI probe in the paddy procurement scam. "It is strange that TRS leaders get Piysh Goyal's appointment within no time. But the Union Minister is not giving appointment to the Congress MPs," he said.

The TPCC Chief said that the TRS Govt did not meet the target in paddy procurement in the years 2018, 2019 and 2020. He said the government was short by 25% of its target in those three years.

He said that there was a target of procuring 1.03 Crore Metric Tonnes of paddy. But the TRS Govt itself reduced the target by 20 lakh MTs. As against the target of 84 Lakh MTs, so far, only 32% have been purchased. The procurement, which should've started by Dussehra, has been delayed by nearly 60 days and it will take another three months to reach the target.

The TPCC Chief accused the TRS Govt of pushing the paddy farmers into the clutches of the rice millers' mafia. He alleged that the TRS Govt was lying about the number of paddy procurement centres in Telangana. As against the claims of having 6875 procurement centres, not even 3,500 centres actually exist in the State. He challenged the TRS Govt to prove the existence of all 6,875 centres along with the details of paddy procured at each Centre.

He reiterated the allegation that KCR was implementing all the provisions of repealed controversial farm laws in Telangana to help Adani and Ambani. The announcement made by KCR that there won't be any procurement centres in the Yasangi season clearly means that the farmers would be forced to sell their produce directly to the corporates. In this scenario, lakhs of farmers will not be able to insist on MSP for their produce and they will be forced to accept whatever price is offered by the big corporates.

Revanth Reddy alleged that TRS MPs were enacting the drama of protest in the Parliament. "While holding placards, they are taking pictures of a protest at the Mahatma Gandhi statue and spending a few minutes in front of the Speaker's Podium. They are spending the rest of their time at the Parliament's Central Hall like some students do in their college canteens," he said.

He said it was not sure whether the TRS MPs were deliberately cheating the people and their leader (KCR) or enacting the drama of protest at the directions of KCR himself. He described the actions of TRS MPs as cheap politics and political students.

"If TRS is holding genuine protest and believes that BJP Govt is a culprit in not procuring paddy, then why KCR is not coming to Delhi to register protest when the Parliament is in session. Why is KCR not making a representation with PM Modi and Agriculture Minister Piyush Goyal on the issue? KCR had earlier announced that he would wage a war against the Centre over paddy farmers' issue. But when the Parliament is in session, KCR is either resting at Pragathi Bhavan or sleeping at his farm house. KCR must explain as to why he is not coming to Delhi?" he asked.

"There is no difference between the dramas being enacted by the TRS MPs in Delhi and KCR in Hyderabad. These dramas will never resolve the problems being faced by paddy farmers of Telangana," he said.

He said that the drama by TRS MPs would come to an end on 7th December (Tuesday). "I've learned from reliable sources that KCR got directions from the BJP leadership to end their 'so-called' protest in Delhi with immediate effect. Therefore, the TRS MPs will enact their last show on Tuesday and silently return to Hyderabad," he said.

Revanth Reddy said that the farmers, women and other common people should greet the TRS MPs and other leaders with tomatoes, eggs and brooms when they enter their villages.

"KCR had once promised that he would protect the farmers' interest till he was alive. By announcing that the government will not procure their produce, KCR has pushed farmers into a state of uncertainty. Should the farmers assume that KCR is dead?" he asked.

Revanth Reddy said that the Congress party would not remain a mute spectator to the injustices being done with paddy farmers. "The Congress party will soon stage a dharna at Jantar Mantar in Delhi to expose the anti-farmer policies of both TRS and BJP Govts. We will also expose that TRS and BJP were two sides of the same coin," he said.

He also condemned the State Government for not organising Dr. Ambedkar's death anniversary function at the official level. Demanding action against the officials concerned for neglecting such an important occasion, he said the officials were simply acting at the behest of the Chief Minister.

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