Cuttack: An additional affidavit has been
filed in the Orissa High Court by a petitioner of a PIL
alleging that Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had a role in the
multi-crore dal (pulses) scam, which has already seen the
ouster of a minister.
Annexing several documents, advocate Dilip Mohapatra
filed the additional affidavit, as the PIL filed by him
earlier in this connection, is now being adjudicated by the
bench of the Chief Justice. The HC has already issued a notice
to the government.
Appearing for the petitioner, Congress leader and senior
counsel Narasingha Mishra submitted the additional affidavit
yesterday questioning as to why Naveen Patnaik wrote a letter
to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh seeking to hike the price of
`arhar` dal for Mid Day Meal and Supplementary Nutrition
Programme, from Rs 36 per kg to Rs 70 per kg in July 2009,
when the market price of the commodity was between Rs 48 and
Rs 58 per kg in the state.
"The letter to enhance the dal price was done with
malafide intention and to help the contractors who were
supplying dal for the two welfare schemes," the affidavit
said, adding, this was done even as the Supreme Court had
repeatedly objected to involvement of contractors in the
supply of food items under the schemes.
The affidavit further noted that the state government
ignored a report given by the then revenue divisional
commissioner of Sambalpur in November, 2010 in which it was
stated that the contractors were supplying arhar dal for the
welfare schemes at a price of Rs 75 per kg when the market
price of the same in the locality is between Rs 45 and Rs 50.
Similarly, the affidavit also annexed a letter from the
Centre written in August 2010 in which it was mentioned that
the dal supplied in some centers in Gop block of Puri district
was highly infected and unfit for human consumption.
The affidavit questioned the intention of the state
government in not taking action against the erring