Monday, February 18, 2019 | ePaper

Control the political clouts who swallow ultra-poor's rice

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THE Local Administration seized 500 Kgs of rice meant for distribution among the ultra-poor under the vulnerable group feeding (VGF) programme from the house of Lalon, brother of local Awami League leader Arab Ali Sardar, at Sorerhat village of Bagha upazila in Rajshahi on Saturday. What most significant is that Arab Ali Sardar was in the committee formed for the rice distribution. Police said the accused went into hiding just after the incident.
Widespread irregularities have been reported in distribution of VGF rice for poor on the occasion of Eid-ul-Azha. In particular, sales of VGF rice in black market, open trade in shops, weight loss, fraudulent cards, and other techniques are usually applied by the local political leaders. On Sunday, 3456 kgs of rice was seized while smuggling by trucks from Chuadanga Municipality area. Local poor women protested against the rice smuggling demanding removal of mayor. A case has been filed against 6 people, including a functioning UP Chairman, in this connection.  
Reports of rice black marketing are coming from different parts of the country including Dinajpur Municipality, Bakshiganj and Charbani Pakuria under Melandah  in Jamalpur, Basail in Tangail,  Gangachara Upazila of Rangpur and Roumari of Kurigram. The Local Administration has seized a huge quantity of rice from spots but no significant arrest was made. Each time local representatives are found guilty to give illegal advantages to their relatives and to get supports from the voters. They distribute VGF cards among the solvent people, who usually sell it to local traders for pocketing extra money.
It's a very old trend to swallow poor people's belongings by the affluent political clouts in our socio-economic culture. How shameless they are -- even after natural calamities such as flood and cyclone they also do the same. Hundreds of vulnerable poor people who have no capacity to buy sacrificial animals and depend on others' empathy during the Eid-ul-Azha will face severe difficulties for not getting the rice.  Nobody can get protection after looting public property.

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