Ration card fiasco: Ganjam Collector orders cases against officials

Bhubaneswar: A day after Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) Commissioner Kishan Kumar ordered an investigation into irregularities in ration card distribution, the Ganjam Collector on Friday asked officials to register cases against six persons, including four government officials.

The order followed allegations made by district Congress committee that ration cards have been issued against these ‘ineligible’ officials. After investigation, it emerged from the list of NFSA beneficiaries that these officials possessed ration cards.

Yesterday, alleging the role of the ruling the BJD behind ‘large scale irregularities’ in ration card distribution, the district Congress had lodged a police complaint against Digapahandi block chairperson Shailabala Pradhan for availing ration card in her name.

The list of dubious NFSA beneficiaries in the district has got bigger with facts emerging about the issue of ration cards in the names of Khallikote NAC chairperson Jyotsnarani Nahak and Digapahandi NAC chairperson Sunita Sethi. Similar allegation has also been levelled against the Aska NAC chairperson.

After farmer suicide cases, irregularities in the NFSA beneficiary list is fast turning out to be a big headache for the state government with the names of ineligible elected people’s representatives across the state cropping up in this connection.

A complaint has been lodged against Anandpur municipality chairperson Saraswati Jena for allegedly receiving a ration card under NFSA. The name of Kunti Singh, wife of Keonjhar Zilla Parishad vice-chairperson Jagannath Swain, is also found in the beneficiaries’ list under the NFSA. Notably, Kunti was earlier block chairperson.

Similar allegation has also been levelled against chairperson of Khaira block in Balasore district Jayanti Mahala.

In the latest such revelation, the name of Baliguda MLA Rajiv Patra’s wife Litangini has surfaced in the ration card list. Rajiv Patra is a resident of Nuasahi of Tumudibandha block under Mundiguda Panchayat of Kandhamal district.