Free food kits recovered from offices of Left parties

PDS shop owners cite space constraint as reason

Published - April 23, 2020 11:08 pm IST - KOTTAYAM

Authorities have unearthed free food kits meant for distribution among ration card holders from Left party offices here. It is alleged that PDS (public distribution system) shop owners had stocked the kits in the offices.

Activists of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress staged a protest in front of a local committee office of the Community Party of India (Marxist) at Madappally, near Changanassery, on Wednesday accusing a ration shop dealer of diverting the kits to the party office.

Following this, a police team rushed to the spot and directed the shop owner to shift the consignment to a safe location.

A similar incident was reported from T.V. Puram, near Vaikom, on Thursday when a team of police and Civil Supplies officials inspected an office of the Communist Party of India and found nearly 200 kits there. A preliminary probe suggested that the kits had been delivered to a PDS shop nearby from the Taluk Supply Office. In both cases, the dealers had taken the kits to the party offices on the pretext of space constraint at the shops.

Jayaprakash V., District Supply Officer, said notices had been served on the ration shop dealers seeking an explanation.

‘Conditions violated’

“A preliminary investigation suggested that both dealers had violated the condition of keeping these kits, meant for distribution later, at neutral and safe locations. Action will be taken based on their response,” the official said.

The episode has triggered a political controversy in Kottayam with leaders of Opposition parties accusing the Left parties of attempting to regulate the distribution of food materials from the government as per their priorities.

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