Former Madhya chief minister and Kamal Nath on Wednesday claimed a central government probe has revealed that rice provided to people under the public distribution system (PDS) in the state was not fit for human consumption.
He alleged that this is a "criminal act against humanity", and action should be taken against the culprits.
However, the ruling BJP refuted Nath's allegation, saying the rice found unfit for human consumption was purchased during the previous Congress regime of Nath, and demanded an apology from him for such a thing happening under his leadership.
Nath in a tweet on Wednesday said, "The rice distributed under the public distribution system during the coronavirus epidemic in Madhya Pradesh was not fit for human consumption. This fact has come out in a letter written after the Central Government's investigation. It is a criminal act against humanity."
The veteran Congress leader in another tweet said strict action should be taken against the culprits and the government should apologise to people of the state for this.
Congress state spokesman Bhupendra Gupta in a statement said officials of food department of the Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution had inspected and collected 32 samples from PDS shops and depots in Mandla and Balaghat districts and analysed them at the Central Grain Analysis Laboratory.
These samples were found unfit for human consumption in the analysis and a letter in this regard was sent by the Centre to the state government in August, Gupta said.
He said the analysis found the samples to be of "poultry grade and suitable for cattle feed".
Reacting to this, state BJP media in-charge Lokendra Parashar in a tweet said the rice which the central team found unfit for human consumption in Mandla and Balaghat districts was purchased by the (previous) Kamal Nath government.
"Our government will not tolerate such an act and appropriate action is being taken on it. Nobody will be spared, whether they are politicians or officials," he said while tagging Nath's tweet in his post.
Parashar also sought an apology from Nath for the purchase of such inferior quality rice and assured that strict action will be taken in this regard.
"Since all this happened under your (Naths) leadership, you should apologise to the people of the state, Parashar said in another tweet.