Bhubneswar(PTI): The opposition Congress and BJP MLAs today staged a walk out from the Odisha Assembly expressing dissatisfaction with the government statement over supply of ‘substandard sattu’ in a scheme.
The issue was discussed in the Assembly through an adjournment motion where members cutting across party lines expressed concern over supply of ‘substandard’ sattu to children and pregnant woman and lactating mothers across the state under Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS).
Initiating the debate, Congress chief whip Taraprasad Bahinipati accused the state government of failing to supply quality sattu to children and women.
He also alleged that the quality of the sattu suffer due to interference of the ruling party in engaging sattu suppliers to various anganwadi centres where children and women are given nutritious food like sattu.
Even ruling BJD MLAs Mahesh Sahu, Jiban Pradeep Dash and Divya Shankar Mishra admitted that the children are provided substandard sattu.
“I have seen black coloured sattu being supplied to the beneficiaries. Surprisingly, that sattu was found to be of good quality when its was examined at the State Public Health Laboratory,” said Dash.
Alleging that the Mothers Committee set up to check the quality of sattu has not been working anywhere in the state, he demanded proper checking of sattu before being supplied to beneficiaries.
Replying to the debate, Women and Child Development Minister Prafulla Samal said as many as 684 Women Self-Help Groups (WSHGs) have been engaged in preparation and supply of sattu to anganwadi centres. He said district collectors generally engage the WSHGs in the making and supply of sattu.
“As per the information received from various district collectors, 27 WSHGs have been disengaged from preparation and supply of sattu on charge of substandard sattu for children and women,” Samal said.
The minister urged the MLAs to visit anganwadi centres and monitor the quality of sattu.
He said as many as 45,79,802 beneficiaries are getting nutritious food in the anganwadi centres.
While the minister was giving his reply, MLAs of the Congress and the BJP MLAs staged a walk out expressing their dissatisfaction with the government’s reply.