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Maha govt orders high-level probe into bogus ration cards issue

Biometric-based ration card

Mumbai: Maharashtra government today said that a high-level inquiry would be launched into the alleged distribution of bogus ration cards in the state.

The issue of fake ration cards came up for discussion in the Legislative Council today after BJP legislator Pandurang Phundkar brought bogus ration cards in the House.

These fake ration cards carried names of politicians like Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Food and Civil Supplies Minister Girish Bapat, Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Council Dhananjay Munde. This development left the members of the Legislative Council stunned.

“These bogus ration cards were issued in Khamgaon (in Buldhana district) and have the signature of the tehsildar. It shows the carelessness of the bureaucracy,” Phundkar said.

Taking a jibe at the erstwhile Congress-NCP government, he alleged that over 6,000 bogus ration cards had been distributed before the state assembly polls last year.

“Six thousand such cards were distributed before the election. Not only that, but food grain has also been distributed on the cards. This is a serious matter and the government should take immediate action,” Phundkar said.

However, Congress MLC Manikrao Thakre pointed out that the ration cards with names of leaders like Vikhe Patil, Munde, Bapat and Fadnavis must have been made after the polls.

“These cards were made after the polls as the names of the leaders on the cards indicate. They were not made before polls,” Thakre said.

Taking serious cognisance of the issue, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Girish Bapat, who also holds the Food and Civil Supplies portfolio, announced a high-level inquiry into the issue and said that all errant officials will be immediately suspended.

“I order a high-level inquiry into the matter of bogus ration cards. The officials involved in the making of the cards will be suspended,” the minister said.

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