Gopal Rai making false claims on wheat procurement by FCI: Delhi BJP

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New Delhi, Apr 9 (PTI) The Delhi BJP on Friday accused Agriculture Minister Gopal Rai of making 'false' statements on wheat procurement by the Food Corporation of India, and challenged him to prove the charges or resign.

The Delhi minister earlier alleged that the Food Corporation of India (FCI) was harassing farmers by not procuring their wheat crop on minimum support price.

Speaking to media after visiting Narela mandi in north Delhi, he claimed that no counter had been set up at the mandi and no procurement was happening, as claimed by the FCI.

BJP MLA Ramvir Singh Bidhuri accused Rai of making baseless charges in the matter.

'The FCI started procuring wheat at minimum support price from April 1 and despite this, Gopal Rai gave false statement that there was no such procurement by the corporation,' he said in a joint press conference along with other party MLAs.

Bidhuri, who is the Leader of Opposition in Delhi assembly, said he will resign from his post if proved wrong by the agriculture minister. He said BJP MLAs and party's Kisan Morcha leaders will meet Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal at his residence over the issue.

'If he will refuse to meet us, we will sit on a dharna outside his residence,” he said.

The BJP leader also claimed that it was only after the AAP government failed to respond to FCI's request to verify the details of farmers (like Aadhaar or land revenue records), the body decided that the procurement would be done at FCI godowns in Narela, Najafgarh and Mayapuri.

Verification of the documents is important to eliminate middlemen or dubious people from the records, and ensure that only genuine farmers get MSP price for their produce, he said.

BJP MLA Vijender Gupta said there were video and photographic evidence to show that the FCI counters at Narela, Mayapuri and Najafgarh were functioning.