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Urging for a probe into the role of Mamata in ration distribution scam: Suvendu

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Kolkata: Reacting to the arrest of West Bengal Forest Minister Jyotipriya Mallick, State Leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikari on Friday demanded a probe into the role of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in the alleged ration distribution scam.

Taking to X, Adhikari said, ” I would urge the @dir_ed to probe the role of Mamata Banerjee in the huge WB Ration Distribution Scam. ”

” Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee didn’t appoint Jyotipriya Mallick as the Minister in Charge of the Food & Supplies Department; Govt of WB, in 2021 as she wanted to save him from the glare of Central Investigation Agencies after engaging in mountainous corruption for a decade as the Food & Supplies Minister from 2011 to 2021,” he commented.

“However, she wanted him to keep raising funds illegally and hand over the share of the proceeds to intended persons. So as a way out, she appointed him as the Chairman of the West Bengal Essential Commodities Supply Corporation (WBECSC), the company that is entrusted with the procurement & distribution of paddy & other food grains in WB, ” the BJP MLA from Nandigram added.

“She didn’t stop at this only. To ensure that siphoning of funds is done smoothly and efficiently, she appointed A.Subbiah; a retired IAS officer, as the MD of the West Bengal Essential Commodities Supply Corporation (WBECSC) to facilitate Jyotipriya Mallick. Who is A. Subbiah? ” he mentioned.

” He is a West Bengal-cadre officer of the 1992 batch. A case against Subbiah was filed by the Anti-Corruption Bureau, Chennai, in 2012 which was about allegedly receiving a bribe of Rs. 8 crore when he was the Chairman of V.O. Chidambaranar Port, formerly Tuticorin Port, ” Adhikari alleged.

” This officer had been charge-sheeted by the @CBIHeadquarters in Case No. RCMA1/ 2012/ A/ 0055 for masterminding a scam as the Acting Chairman of the Tuticorin Port Trust. Permission has also been granted for his prosecution. As a result, his promotion to the rank of Additional Chief Secretary was blocked and his pension (due after retirement) was withheld, ” he further alleged.

” Why is Mamata Banerjee responsible? She is the Minister-in-Charge of the Personnel and Administrative Reforms Department. It wouldn’t have been possible for A. Subbiah; a tainted & charge-sheeted retired officer, whose pension has been withheld and who is being prosecuted for corruption, to be appointed as Managing Director of WBECSC, if the CM didn’t want it personally, ” Adhikari asserted.

State BJP President Sukanta Majumdar commented, ” The Kingpin of the Ration Scam has finally been caught… The Truth will always prevail…”

ED arrested Mallick after grilling him since 6 AM on Thursday and finally took him to the CGO Complex around 0323 hrs.

Mallick, currently Bengal Forest Minister and former Food Minister, was arrested on charges of alleged irregularities in the distribution of statuary rations during the pandemic period.

Mallick accused the BJP and Adhikari of “orchestrating a deep conspiracy” for his arrest.

The ED arrested Mallick of non-cooperation in the process of Investigation.

The ED took Mallick to EDI Hospital at Joka for health check-up where a medical board has already been set up since the minister suffers from blood sugar, sources said.

The ED is expected to produce Mallick at the Bankshall Court in the city later on Friday and seek him in its custody.

The ED has appointed Special Prosecutor Firoz Edulji, who appeared during the arrest of State Commerce and former Education Minister Partha Chatterjee in the alleged cash-for-jobs scam last year.

Sources said besides, the raids were conducted simultaneously in two flats of Mallick at Salt Lake (Kolkata) areas, two other flats of Dey at Vivekananda Road ( Nager Bazar in Dum Dum) and another house of Dey at Bhagabati Park, also in Nager Bazar.

Raids were conducted in three other places too.

They said the ED, probing the money trails of the alleged irregularities in the statutory ration distribution system, has information that the arrested businessman, Bakibur Rahaman, has huge businesses in Bengal, Mumbai, and even Dubai worth near 100 crores of rupees.

Sources said Bakibur had rapport with Minister Mallick when he was the state food supplies minister in the previous Mamata Banerjee government. After the win in the 2021 assembly poll, Mallick was shifted to the Department of Forest Affairs and Non-Conventional and Renewable Energy Sources.

Mallick represents the Habra assembly segment in the North 24 Parganas.

A few months ago, the ED raided the residence of current food minister Rathin Ghosh, also in North 24 Parganas.

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