New Delhi: Senior Congress leader
Satyavrat Chaturvedi on Wednesday accused Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar of misrepresenting facts on availability of sugar
in the country.
"If the stock of sugar was there and the mills were
full of sugar stocks, then how did the shortage take place?"
Chaturvedi told reporters.
Quoting Pawar, the Congress leader said he had talked
earlier about sufficient sugar stocks but now he says there
would be shortage of sugar.
"Now his statement comes that there would be a
shortage of sugar and due to (poor crop of) sugarcane, sugar
will have to be imported," Chaturvedi said.
Congress, however, disassociated itself with the
statement of Chaturvedi saying it was yet to see it but said
it was primarily the responsibility of the state governments
to fight drought.
"I am not aware of it (Chaturvedi`s statement)", party
spokesman Manish Tewari said. Asked whether Pawar had
miscalculated the stocks, Tewari said this was not a man-made
"This situation is not man-made. It is a natural
calamity. Deficient rainfall has been there...But drought
management and calamity relief fall entirely in the domain of
the state governments," he said.
Tewari said the Centre can do little except energising
the states and ensuring supply of funds. "We must close ranks
and alleviate the problem of the people," he said.
The spokesman said the Agriculture Ministry has taken
steps and the state governments too are taking them.
"Both should coordinate so that drought-affected
people get relief," Tewari added.