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Babulal Marandi

Jharkhand: BJP Chief urges inquiry on school uniform purchase

December 28, 2023

On Wednesday, Jharkhand BJP President Babulal Marandi addressed a letter to Chief Secretary L Khiangte, urging an investigation into an alleged scam involving the procurement of school uniforms in Hazaribag district. Marandi, a former chief minister of the state, called for stringent action against those found culpable.

In the letter, Marandi asserted that the Hazaribag district superintendent of education (DSE) had, in violation of established criteria, placed an order in August with a non-governmental organization from another district for dresses, sweaters, shoes, and socks for students in classes 1 to 8. Notably, this order was made without the standard tendering process or local newspaper publication.

Highlighting the subpar quality of the supplied sweaters and dresses, Marandi claimed that they began tearing within a week. He referenced Hazaribag Sadar MLA Manish Jaiswal, who had raised the issue during the winter session of the Jharkhand Assembly.

Marandi also pointed out that the Jharkhand Education Project Council (JEPC) had clear guidelines, allowing the transfer of funds for uniforms to the bank accounts of beneficiaries through direct benefit transfer (DBT) if a self-help group (SHG) in the district couldn’t meet the delivery deadline. However, Marandi alleged that, for commission purposes, the Hazaribagh DSE bypassed these rules and ordered clothes from its preferred SHG, resulting in a total withdrawal of Rs 12 crore.

In his letter, Marandi urged the chief secretary to initiate a probe into the matter and ensure strict action against the officials involved in the alleged irregularities.

Source: PTI

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