Dal scam: Orissa minister resigns, action against three others

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Bhubaneswar:  The multi-crore dal scam today claimed its first victim with Orissa's Women and Child Development Minister Pramila Mallick resigning and action being initiated against three IAS officers over purchase of dal for the mid-day meal scheme and Supplementary Nutrition Programme (SNP).

Mallick's department was the nodal agency through which dal was being given to about 9.5 million beneficiaries including 5 million school children.

"The minister Mrs Pramila Mallick has submitted her resignation to me. I have forwarded it to the Governor for acceptance," Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik told reporters, adding action was also being taken against some collectors for their alleged involvement in it.

Chief Secretary B K Patnaik said a chargesheet would soon be filed against two collector level officers. The action comes two days after the state anti-corruption vigilance department submitted its preliminary report on the Rs 700-crore dal scam.
        
"I have tendered my resignation on moral grounds on my own for the interest of BJD party and to keep the clean image of the government intact," Mallick said after putting in her papers.
       
Keeping on hold the promotion of Deogarh Collector Ambika Prasad Mishra to the post of Revenue Divisional Commissioner (RDC) of Northern division, the government placed him as an officer without duty in the general administration department.

Mishra, during his tenure as collector of Deogarh, had floated tender for dal for two years and samples collected by vigilance department wing showed the dal was of substandard quality.

Similarly, former collector of tribal dominated Mayurbhanj, P K Meherda, was also found to be involved in the scam by the vigilance department.


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