Thiruvananthapuram: CPM led LDF Opposition members Wednesday staged a walkout from the Assembly protesting alleged diversion of BPL category rice to the open market and 'corruption' in the Civil Supplies Corporation.
The Opposition took up the issue of price rise of essential commodities, diversion of rice meant for BPL card holders and corruption through a notice for an adjournment during Zero Hour.
Replying to the notice, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Civil Supplies Minister Anoop Jacob denied the LDF charge and said government has initiated all possible steps to check spurt in prices of food grains.
Pushing forward its pet programme of Cash Transfer Scheme, Chandy said the only way to ensure that subsidy amount reached the real beneficiaries was to implement the scheme.
"Government is spending Rs 600 crore to supply rice and wheat to ration card holders. But still the price of food grains continues to be on the high side," he said.
LDF opposed the scheme and said government was 'running away' from the real issue of price rise as also effective steps to check black marketing and hoarding.
Seeking notice for the adjournment, V S Sunilkumar (CPI) alleged that the Civil Supplies Corporation has become a department steeped in corruption.
Price rise of essential commodities have made the life of people miserable and government has failed to take any steps to check this, he said.
He also alleged that the additional rice quota sanctioned by the Centre was being diverted to the open market with the connivance of officials concerned.
After the replies of the Chief Minister and Food Minister, Speaker G Karthikeyan disallowed the motion. Before staging the walkout, Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan said 'UDF government is fiddling when people are under the grip of price rise'.