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Raman Singh, kin made crores in PDS scam, alleges Congress
Wednesday March 25, 2015 11:03 PM, IANS

The Congress on Wednesday claimed that Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh, his close relatives as well as personal staff made several crores worth of "ill-gotten wealth" through the alleged scam in the state's public distribution system (PDS).

Party spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi cited "documentary evidence", though unverified, to point out that over Rs.34 crore were sent to the chief minister's house on June 8, 2014, as "payment of ill-gotten wealth".

Based on daily entries purported to be from a diary of Shiv Shankar Bhatt, of the State Civil Supplies Corporation, the Congress postulated "unprecedented corruption" by Raman Singh, his wife and her close relatives, state ministers as well as the chief minister's personal cook, courier and aides.

The PDS rice scam is a tale of "ministers, chief minister, CM's close relatives, CM's close personnel and staff completely immersed neck deep in corruption," Singhvi told the media here where he distributed copies of the diary entries.

"But it is also a tale of suppression of truth, of not allowing an independent agency to inquire, of not allowing a CBI inquiry or an independent inquiry by a sitting Supreme Court or high court judge," he added.

Linking the Chhattisgarh scam with the education board scam in Madhya Pradesh, Singhvi described the two as an "unprecedented web of nepotism", adding that they made a "mockery" of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "exhortations on corruption or anti-corruption".

Earlier, the Chhattisgarh Anti-Corruption Bureau arrested 12 employees of the State Civil Supplies Corporation following a recovery of Rs.3.5 crore and several documents that named government officials and ministers as beneficiaries of the alleged scam.

However, the Congress described the arrest as a "cover-up action" where the "smallest of the small fries" were made scapegoats.

Among the seized documents from these employees was the diary that mentioned people with names similar to that of the chief minister, his wife and her relatives.

Other entries in the documents presented by the Congress on Wednesday carried abbreviations like "CM Sir", "CM Madam", "Dr. House" among others. The Congress contended that these referred to the "chief minister", "his wife" and "chief minister's house" respectively.

The party reiterated its demand for Raman Singh's resignation to ensure an "independent inquiry, free of any influence".

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