The Congress on Monday renewed its demand for a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into an alleged multi-million-rupee scam in which paddy was procured from the farmers by cooperative societies in Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-ruled Chhattisgarh.
"The BJP government is trying to cover up the scam. A CBI probe is the best option to unravel the truth how the co-operative societies procured thousands of tonnes of paddy only on paper," state unit Congress general secretary Ramesh Varlyani told IANS.
"The Congress has already briefed the matter to the governor, and the party will take to streets if a CBI or any high-level independent probe is not ordered," he added.
The Congress submitted a memorandum to Governor ESL Narasimhan last month giving evidences as to how societies forged papers and paid millions only on paper to farmers across the state. In the memorandum, Congress said: "A CBI probe will make justice with people of the state."
Varlyani also asked the BJP government to issue a white paper on paddy procurement since it came to power in 2003.
The Congress party has alleged that in the last procurement season (October 2008-January 2009), co-operative societies claimed to have paid millions of rupees to farmers in exchange for procured paddy but actually the procurement and payment were made only 'on paper'.
It has accused the societies of forging papers and engineering scams showing fake names of farmers. The actual amount of the alleged scam is yet to be ascertained. However, the Congress party said it runs into multi-million rupees.
The paddy scam hit the state last month when a local Hindi daily published the report prominently. The issue again became alive last week when the newspaper put out another report giving details of the scam.