Alleging that lakhs of bogus ration cards were issued in Chhattisgarh by the ruling BJP for "political gains", opposition Congress today sought a CBI inquiry into it and demanded Chief Minister Raman Singh's resignation over the issue.
"The state government had deliberately issued around 20 lakh ration cards to ineligible people ahead of the assembly polls last year just to reap political gains," Leader of Opposition in the state assembly, T S Singhdeo, said in a press conference in Raipur.
Before the implementation of the Food Security Bill, 2013 in the state last year, there were around 33 lakh BPL families with ration cards. However, after that scheme, ration cards were issued to about 66 lakh BPL families, he claimed.
"How did the number of poor families shoot up in a matter of just a few months?" he asked. According to the Congress leader, the state exchequer suffered losses to the tune of Rs 2,400 crore by providing ration to the bogus card holders.
Singhdeo accused the state government of issuing bogus ration cards to those indulging in black marketing at their fair price shops. "Over 90% of the fair price shops belong to those who have some connection with the ruling party. All the ration on bogus cards is reaching these black marketeers," he alleged.
"Now, after the assembly and Lok Sabha polls, the state government has started cancelling the bogus ration cards. However, the eligible down-trodden families are bearing the brunt of this exercise," he said.
The government is cancelling the ration cards of those who are actually needy families, he blamed and sought to restore the ration cards of poor families. "A CBI inquiry should be conducted into the issue and Chief Minister Raman Singh should step down on moral grounds," Singhdeo said.