Ex-Agriculture minister Dama Rout alleges Rs 30 crore-scam in Omfed

Bhubaneswar: ‘Dama wave’ is currently shaking up the Odisha government and it is evident from his back-to-back attacks. After his revelations alleging that the sapling scam is over Rs 100 crore, the senior BJD leader and former Agriculture Minister Damodar Rout today raked up another case of corruption alleging a scam in Omfed to the tune of Rs 30 crore.

The former minister alleged irregularities to the tune of Rs 30 crore in purchase of polythene for Omfed milk packets during the tenure of present Agriculture Minister, Pradeep Maharathy.

“Ask Maharathy whether Omfed Managing Director (MD) had written for a vigilance inquiry alleging irregularities of Rs 30 crore or not. If he had written, then why instead of ordering a Vigilance inquiry, permission for a departmental inquiry was sought and received from the Chief Minister’s Office citing that a Vigilance inquiry will belittle the image of the department,” said Rout.

He further said that soon after the CMO’s order for a departmental inquiry, the MD who had sought a Vigilance inquiry was transferred and replaced by the official during whose stint the scam had taken place. “The concerned official then submitted a report that ruled out corruption claims and Rs 16 crore was sanctioned immediately,” he added.

Besides, Rout hinted at Maharathy’s involvement behind his sacking as the Agriculture minister.

Responding to Rout’s allegations, Maharathy said, “I don’t think he (Dama) will ever say that any corruption has taken place during my tenure. Anyways, the allegations are false. Omfed is an autonomous body which takes its own decisions.”

Claims of his involvement in Rout’s sacking, Maharathy said he was already having Panchayati Raj and Irrigation portfolios with him (when Rout was minister) and those were not less powerful departments.