The state government had returned the seized stock of pulses to traders instead of selling them to ration shops.
Even though some of the BJP MP’s are raising their voice against the rising Tur dal prices but the state government itself is responsible for failing to control prices of pulses. On one hand, MP’s raised the issue of rising Tur dal prices in parliament on the other hand the state government returned the seized stock of pulses to traders instead of selling them to ration shops. The common man has to bear the brunt of rising prices of an essential commodity like tur dal as he has to cut down the consumption of pulses.
People who used to buy two to three kilo grams of tur dal per month are buying only half kg due to surge in price of the commodity. Even restaurants are finding it difficult to run their business on account of rising inflation. Earlier the government had said that tur dal will be available at Rs 100 per kg but the commodity is selling at Rs 180 to 210 per kg in shops and departmental stores. The government also had stated that tur dal prices will decline after the arrival of new stock but prices have not fallen yet. Thus there is no respite for consumers from surging inflation.
NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik had criticised food and civil supplies minister Girish Bapat for his failure to check rising pulses prices. He alleged involvement of Food and Civil Supply Minister Girish Bapat in the 2,000 crore tur dal scam and demanded his ouster from the cabinet. Malik said, “Tur dal worth Rs 2,000 crore seized from leading traders was handed over to them again in blatant violation of rules, which empower the government to sell it (seized foodstuff) at reasonable prices through the public distribution system.”
“Out of the 1.36 tonne of pulses seized by the state government only a few tonne was auctioned in the open market. What happened with the remaining pulses?” Malik asked.
The NCP has demanded an inquiry commission be set up to investigate alleged irregularities in decisions related to confiscated commodities including tur dal. Nawab Malik has demanded the removal of Girish Bapat from the ministerial council until the completion of investigation into the matter.
With pressure from grain sellers and internal conflicts between Girish Bapat and the bureaucracy, the Maharashtra government is finding it tough to reach consensus about making tur dal available at a reasonable price to consumers. Turf wars between ministers and bureaucrats in Maharashtra have intensified at a time when the BJP government in the state is facing flak over its failure to check rising tur dal prices.