Madhya Pradesh: Congress removes Mohan Aggarwal for role in PDS scam

Written by Iram Siddique
| Bhopal |

September 16, 2020 10:16:50 am

Aggarwal, a transporter affiliated with Nagrik Apurti Nigam. (Express Photo/Vishal Srivastav/Representational)

The Congress Tuesday removed its Nagar Adhyaksh of Congress Committee in Mohw, Mohan Aggarwal, two days after he was booked for malpractices in supplying food grains to the fair price shops of the Public Distribution System. Aggarwal, who is absconding, was booked under the National Security Act (NSA) by the Indore Police after it came to light that he had sold grains worth around Rs 50 crore in the open market that was supposed to be distributed to the poor.

District Collector Manish Singh said Aggarwal had been involved in the scam for several years. It was unearthed after an internal tip-off was received by Mohw Sub-Divisional Magistrate Abhilash Mishra. Mishra was told that grains over 600 quintals were illegally stored and transferred out of a godown in Mhow tehsil.

In a statement on Sunday, the Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee said, “Mohanlal Aggarwal has been immediately removed from his posts.” He has been removed from the party as well, it added.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Congress spokesperson Bhupendra Gupta said, “Our party does not affiliate itself with any person who indulges in such malpractices. But he has been carrying out these activities over the past decade under the BJP rule, and it needs to be seen who is benefiting from it.”

Aggarwal, a transporter affiliated with Nagrik Apurti Nigam that supplies essential food items to the fair price shops, would instead sell the grain in the open market and supply grains of poorer quality to fair price shops.

In a raid conducted on August 17, district officials found that gunny bags containing grains with a state government stamp were being illegally stored and transported out of a godown owned by Aggarwal using bills that later turned out to be fake. On further investigation, it came to light that Aggarwal was affiliated with Nagar Apurti Nigam over the past 20 years, and delivered only a portion of it while the rest was stored away at his son Mohit Aggarwal’s firm ‘Harshil Enterprise.

At the firm, the father-son duo would generate fake bills of the grains procured through private agencies and then transport them out of the district to be sold in open markets in different parts of the state.

According to officials of the Indore district administration, Aggarwal was working in nexus with people in the fair price shops, from the mandi, and two other departments in the Department of Food Civil Supplies and Protection.

Manish Singh Monday issued orders to the police to book Aggarwal under the NSA. Speaking to The Indian Express, Singh said, “(Aggarwal) will be sent to the central jail whenever he is found. We are probing the roles of government officials from three departments without whose connivance it would not have been possible. They will also be booked as soon as their names are established.”

On Saturday, four FIRs were registered against 10 persons, including Mohan and Mohit Aggarwal. Orders were also issued to demolish his godowns. The police have announced a bounty of Rs 5,000 for information on each of the accused.

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