He also said that the matter regarding the ED summons was with the court as the agency had approached the same, and Kejriwal was directed to appear before it on March 16.
Enforcement Directorate (ED) sleuths have now opened a second line of probe in the multi-crore ration distribution case in West Bengal where thousands of farmers were deprived of the minimum support price (MSP) for the paddy produced.
Till now, sources aware of the details, said, the central agency sleuths had been investigating on the primary line of corruption in the ration distribution case, where flour meant for distribution through fair price shops were sold in the open markets especially to packaged-flour marketing entities at premium prices.
“However, at the same time, these conspirators had adopted another line of corruption where they purchased paddy from the farmers at price lower than MSP and then sold the same at price higher than MSP. The conspirators opened fake farmer’s cooperatives for conducting this purchase and sale of paddy,” a source aware of the development said.
Source said that the central agency sleuths investigating the matter believe that the amount in this line of corruption by depriving the farmers of MSP is much higher than what is involved in the other line of irregularities which is selling public distribution system (PDS)- entitled flour being sold in the open market.
In the first case, sources added, there was a two-stage profit for the conspirator, where the first was from purchasing paddy at price lower than MSP and second being selling that same price higher than MSP.
As per initial estimates, these rice-mill owners made a profit of at least Rs 200 per quintal through this process, a major portion of which was passed down to influential beneficiaries in the state food & supplies department and the ruling party.
Political observers believe that this new line of investigation will be yet another cause of embarrassment for the ruling party considering that farmers’ suicides being unable to recover even the production cost had been rampant in West Bengal for quite some time.