Patna: Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Thursday accused the Centre of discriminating against Bihar with Food Corporation of India (FCI) going back on its promise of procuring foodgrain speedily despite repeated requests.

Kumar, who intervened while Food Minister Shyam Rajak was replying to a question of Leader of Opposition in the assembly Abdul Bari Siddiqui, said FCI had promised the government that it would speedily procure grains from farmers.

"During Adhikar yatra (last year) I had interacted with FCI officials for procurement of grains and they had assured me that the process would be carried out speedily but FCI is not delivering on its promise. The state government's huge cash is held up due to this," he said.

The process of purchase of grain has been hit hard in the state due to unavailability of quality controller and frequent strikes in FCI, Kumar said, adding that he has drawn attention of the Centre on the matter. The Opposition is seeking to score political points on this issue, he said and appealed to them to fight unitedly against the "discrimination".

"Had it been Punjab or Uttar Pradesh, all the legislators would have been on their feet to unitedly fight such discrimination against the interest of farmers," he said. On slow procurement of wheat in the state, he said it was because farmers were getting good rates in the open market than the minimum support price. Earlier, the state food minister rubbished the opposition leader's claim that paddy was rotting in open space at Sitamarhi and other places.


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