'Bapat watches porn at night; he has no time to bring down prices'

In a direct attack on Food and Civic Supplies Minister Girish Bapat, the NCP alleged he had intentionally allowed the price crisis to build up so traders could make a fortune

Angry about the spiralling prices of pulses? Blame Food and Civic Supplies Minister Girish Bapat’s nightly porn habit, said the NCP in a direct attack on the BJP leader, who had notoriously told a gathering of students in Pune that he watches porn.

“Bapat has himself said that he watches porn in the night. So, I can safely say that the minister doesn’t find time in the day for his official work,” NCP’s chief spokesperson Nawab Malik told a press conference at the party’s Nariman Point headquarters on Thursday.

Also Read: After daal, now get set to pay more for rice

Bapat had admitted to watching porn while addressing a public event in Pune. File pics
Bapat had admitted to watching porn while addressing a public event in Pune. File pics

Bapat’s frank admission, made to hundreds of students, had kicked up a furore, after which the minister had apologised and said he had been misunderstood. However, it came back to bite him yesterday, as Malik alleged the food and civil supplies minister had no energy for work after keeping glued to his screen at night.

NCP's chief spokesperson Nawab Malik said Bapat had no time or energy to resolve the crisis of rising daal prices as he was too busy watching porn at night.
NCP's chief spokesperson Nawab Malik said Bapat had no time or energy to resolve the crisis of rising daal prices as he was too busy watching porn at night.

Criticising him for failure to rein in the exorbitant prices of pulses, oil and vegetables, Malik also accused Bapat of corruption and said the minister had intentionally allowed traders to make a fortune at the cost of the common man.

Read Story: Maharashtra government seizes 23,340 tonnes of pulses, prices may cool

“Bapat helped traders by delaying the decision to ban hoarding of essential commodities. The traders made a killing because they were allowed a free run in the six months since April this year, when the erstwhile government’s ban on hoarding of pulses and oil seeds — which had been in place since February 2010 — was lifted,” said Malik.

Following the renewed ban on hoarding last month, Bapat’s department did raid hoarders and confiscate 90,000 metric tonnes of pulses, worth around Rs 2,000 crore, Malik admitted, but added that the government should have cleared the seized pulses through the Public Distribution System (PDS), instead of allowing traders to sell it.

Traders are still selling toor daal for Rs 200 per kg, he said, adding that even though prices were already high, traders were allowed to charge Rs 20 or so extra per kg to make up for their losses.

“We must ask who gets how much in commission or bribe through this deal?” asked Malik, further alleging that Bapat had sought a bribe of Rs 100-200 crore from traders to allow them to market the seized pulses.

“The minister has refused to give us information about the law under which he had allowed traders to market seized daal. The NCP demands Bapat’s sacking and if he is not removed from the Cabinet, we will create a storm in the forthcoming winter session of the state legislature,” he said.

Bapat did not respond to mid-day’s calls.

Bapat's porn gaffe

Girish Bapat, who is also the guardian minister of Pune, was addressing a gathering of students in Pune in September when he told them in Marathi, “Those late night clips that you people watch, I know all about them. I know because even I watch those clips... Don’t think I’m an old fellow. I’m still young!” Facing a hail of flak for his comment — which had little doubt of what he was referring to — Bapat later apologised and said he was only trying to make the conversation interesting for his young audience.

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