Allegations against ISKON a ‘Congress’ vendetta

via - PTI published on October 18, 2009

Allegations against ISKON a personal vendetta

BANGALORE: Infosys Board member and trustee of the Akshaya Patra Foundation, running the mid-day meal programme, T V Mohandas Pai today refuted charges levelled against the foundation that it was selling foodgrains meant for the scheme for profit, dubbing it as a case of “personal vendetta”.

The Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committe working President, D K Shivakumar had yesterday alleged that the food grain supplied to International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) which runs the APF programme was being sold to rice vendors to make a profit, after 4500 bags of rice were seized from a marriage hall by food and civil supplies officials.

“This is a case of personal vendetta by a politician. He has made false claims against the foundation. All the food is fully accounted. It is stored in a godown, pending use, and letters had been given to the Zilla Parishad and proper records have been maintained.Nothing has been sold”, Pai said.

“We have been operating the scheme for the last 10 years. The government has done audits in the past. We spend much more than what is given on the programme”, he said adding that the programme feeds 10.80 lakh children in 5700 schools in seven states everyday.

He said ‘many very eminent citizens’ of the country were associated with the programme.”For this local politician to make such remarks is outrageous”, he said.

“We as trustees are very angry and upset and we request well meaning citizens of India to stand up and condemn such vendetta by the politician”, he said. .

According to APF,the foundation had been facing shortage of space in the kitchen premises for the rice received from the government.Hence it had taken a godown on rent in Nagarbavi area to stock the rice.

“This rental arrangement was made on September 20, 2009 with the owner”, a statement from AFP said here.On October six, the foundation had submitted a letter to the Zilla Parishad Bangalore seeking permission to store the rice in a rented shed premises.

The same was also brought to the notice of the Joint Director, Mid-day Meal Scheme. “Through this we had made our intention, to store the rice till consumed, known to the government officials. And only after that, from October seven to 14, we shifted the rice to the godown”, it said.

The foundation plans to store the rice in three rented sheds safely and to bring it for cooking to the kitchen as and when needed, it said.

The charge that the foundation had the intention to sell the rice from the shed is “totally baseless and motivated”.

“It is intended to tarnish the image of Akshaya Patra. It is simply an imagination of a mischievous mind”, it said.

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