BJP stand on foodgrains vindicated, says Gadkari

August 31st, 2010 - 8:07 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party New Delhi, Aug 31 (IANS) Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Nitin Gadkari Tuesday said his party felt “vindicated” after the Supreme Court reminded Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar to give the foodgrains stocked in government warehouses to the poor for free instead of letting these rot.
“Today’s development is a vindication of the stand taken by the BJP that the central government was a mute spectator to the criminal wastage of huge quantity of foodgrains rotting due to lack of storage capacity in the Food Corporation of India warehouses and that it would be prudent to distribute it among the poor before it becomes unfit for human consumption,” Gadkari said in a release.

Gadkari’s comments came after the Supreme Court reminded Pawar Tuesday that its recent ruling that rotting foodgrains be distributed free among the poor was an “order” and not a “suggestion”, as interpreted by the minister.

Referring to media reports that attributed to Pawar a statement that the court only made a suggestion Aug 12 and the government would consider it, an apex court bench of Justice Dalveer Bhandari and Justice Deepak Verma told Additional Solicitor General Mohan Parasaran Tuesday: “Tell your minister not to make any such comment.”

The court said: “What we have said is an order and not a suggestion. Let him not misunderstand our order.”

The government should be restrained from selling foodgrains in the open market as a large number of people are suffering from malnutrition and hunger, the petition to the apex court had said.

“The BJP welcomes the Supreme Court’s order directing the central government to arrange free distribution of foodgrains to the poor instead of letting it rot and the apex court’s order is a slap on the (face of the) Congress government,” Gadkari added.

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