RAJKOT: State agriculture minister R C Faldu reignited the blame game over malpractices in groundnut procurement by once again targeting National Agriculture Co-operative Marketing Federation of India (Nafed) stating that he has registered a complaint about the agency ‘poor performance’ to the Central government.

“I drew the attention of union agriculture minister that Nafed doesn’t have responsible officers and they have worked irresponsibly in the process of procurement,” Faldu told media persons on Friday.

When asked about Nafed’s allegation that state government allotted 60% procurement work to GUJCOT which was not experienced, Faldu said that it was Nafed’s weak defence to cover up its own wrongdoings. “Nafed chairman (VR Boda) is lying as this agency is responsible for appointing other agencies for procurement.”

Earlier, Boda had said that it was the state government which had appointed the agencies.

Asked about the corruption and malpractice in procurement, Faldu admitted that it had caused a loss of Rs 42 crore to the government exchequer. He assured that actions would be taken against all responsible people for causing this loss.

“Nearly 4.5 lakh metric tonnes, which is half of the total procured groundnut stock, has been sold in auction and no complaints have been received so far. Therefore, we believe that the scam is not as big as it’s being portrayed.”

Regarding Congress leader Paresh Dhanani’s dharna in Pedhal village of Jetpur where mud and pebbles were found, he said “Dhanani only wants cheap publicity.”

When ed, Boda said, “It is agriculture minister’s right to complain about us to the Central government.”

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