BJP's national secretary Kirit Somaya on Tuesday said that the party would approach Orissa governor MC Bhandare to prosecute chief minister Naveen Patnaik, outgoing women and child development minister Pramila Mallick and senior state government officials for their involvement in the alleged multi-crore dal scam.
Somaya said that the dal scam in Orissa was the worst scam of 2010.
In 2G Spectrum scam or Orissa's mining scam, he said, there could be debates. But as for dal scam, there is no room for debate. "These people have played with the lives of 1.17 crore school going children and expectant mothers," Somaya told news persons in Bhubaneswar, adding that Patnaik should tender a public apology to the people of Orissa on the matter.
Somaya also appealed to the national and state human rights commission to take suo moto cognizance of the scam.
Soyama led a fact finding team, including state president Jual Oram and party MP Rudra Narayan Pani, to enquire the irregularities in supply of dal for children covered under the mid-day meal (MDM) and integrated child development scheme (ICDS) programme in Orissa.
The team visited the districts of Jajpur, Bhadrak and Baleswar on Monday and Tuesday and collected dal samples from 25 schools and anganwadi centres. "Surprisingly, even after the scam came to light about a month back, the rotten dal in schools have yet to be replaced," Somaya said.
The massive irregularities in dal supply came to light in January. A probe by vigilance department has found siphoning off of at least Rs. 100 crore in one year by dal suppliers in just four districts of the state – Mayurbjanj, Jajpur, Balesore and Ganjam.
The modus operandi was this. The supplier procured low quality dal at Rs25-30 a kg from outside the state. They then supplied it to schools (mid-day meal) and anganwadi (mother-and-child care) centres under ICDS, and took the rate set by the government – Rs. 75 per kg – making a cool profit of Rs. 45 or more.
The vigilance department found the irregularities mainly on three counts. First, the suppliers supplied low quality dal. Second, no bidding was involved in choosing the suppliers. And third, the number of students in both schools and anganwadi centres were inflated.