54 lakh 'ineligible' ration cards in Maharashtra: Minister

The minister though clarified that these 'ineligible' cards were not bogus or fake.

Replying to a question by Ashok Raosaheb Pawar (NCP) and others during the question hour, Deshmukh informed the lower house that during 2005-08, 2009-10 and 2011, his department had conducted surveys, which revealed this statistic.

The minister, however, stressed that these cards were 'bogus', but ineligible ones. He also denied, to a question, that any Bangladeshi citizen was issued a ration card.

A preliminary inquiry was initiated against 252 officers, including departmental inquiry against 62 officers, in this regard, he said.

Leader of Opposition Eknath Khadse (BJP) wanted to know how much food grains and kerosene were distributed through these cards.

Deshmukh said that Divisional Commissioners had been directed to expedite the probe and a report would be submitted within six months.

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