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Deep nexus between bureaucrats and ration mafia, says Kejriwal

Kejriwal and deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia criticised officials for “resisting” the proposal which would enable beneficiaries to get their monthly ration packages delivered at their houses.

delhi Updated: Mar 01, 2018 22:48 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
AAP,kejriwal,sisodia
Arvind Kejriwal and deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia criticised officials for “resisting” the proposal which would enable beneficiaries to get their monthly ration packages delivered at their houses.

Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday blamed the alleged “nexus” between some bureaucrats and the “ration mafia” for delay in implementing government’s doorstep delivery of ration scheme.

In what could deepen the conflict between the bureaucracy and the Aam Aadmi Party government, both Kejriwal and deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia criticised officials for “resisting” the proposal which would enable beneficiaries to get their monthly ration packages delivered at their houses.

“The nexus between some bureaucrats and the ration mafia is very deep. Many politicians from opposition parties are beneficiaries through these bureaucrats. That is the reason for stiff resistance to doorstep delivery of rations,” Kejriwal said on Twitter.

Sisodia said the scheme was to be rolled out in January, but the proposal is not ready yet as a cabinet meeting to discuss the project was cancelled on Thursday as the food and supplies commissioner is on a week-long leave.

Demanding an inquiry, the minister alleged that Delhi chief secretary Anshu Prakash and other senior officers are working under the influence of the ration mafia. “Instructions were given to the chief secretary not to give leave to senior officers without consulting the ministers concerned, but he did not inform the ministers. This creates a doubt that everyone is working together and under the influence of the ration ‘wala’ (mafia). There should be an inquiry into this,” Sisodia said.

The deputy CM said that Prakash was asked to bring a proposal to the cabinet meeting on February 27, but he did not do so. “Today (Thursday) he again failed to bring the same. The L-G had told us that no senior rank officer will go on leave without permission from the concerned minister and the CM, but the chief secretary has sent food commissioner on leave, which indicates some officers are working under the pressure of ration mafia,” he said.

He said that Kejriwal has directed Prakash to present the note in the next cabinet meeting that is to be held on March 6.

“I ask the L-G why he wants to protect ration mafia in Delhi. We know that previous Congress government had supported ration mafia and senior BJP leaders also own many ration shops,” Sisodia said. He questioned L-G Anil Baijal for not taking action against the officers.

Last week, bureaucrats had decided to boycott all meetings with ministers after an alleged attack on the chief secretary by AAP MLAs in the presence of chief minister Arvind Kejriwal.

Sources in the government, however, said that the file remained with the food and supplies minister, Imran Hussain, for a “long while” before he approved it. “The file was with the minister from February 19 to 27. As per the rule, after the minister’s approval the file needs to get clearance from various departments before it can be put up in the Cabinet. This process is still on,” a source in the government said.

Another source said that the food and supplies department had disbursed rations to 98% beneficiaries till the month of February and that the claims of Sisodia that the e-PoS devices project in ration shops had failed is not true.

First Published: Mar 01, 2018 22:04 IST