Meghalaya News 24 exclusive
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is all set to seek the Centre’s intervention for a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the alleged scam in the implementation of the Saubhagya scheme.
“I stand with the party’s decision and that is we demand for a CBI inquiry into the implementation of the Saubhagya scheme in the state,” BJP state president Ernest Mawrie said on Tuesday.
This came in the wake of the state government’s decision to wait for the report of the Independent Inquiry Committee headed by a retired Judge which was constituted recently to probe into alleged scam in the MeECL.
Mawrie however said why the party is stressing for a CBI inquiry is because they have the mechanism to handle and go deep into such corruption cases.
“If the CM wants to come clean on this scam, I think there is no way out (except to handover the investigation to the CBI). I request the CM to consider the suggestion and ensure proper investigation into the matter,” he added.
The BJP leader also stated that the government had instituted similar inquiry like the local audit to probe into the alleged misutilization of funds by the GHADC and JHADC but “unfortunately till today, I have not seen any report, it just vanish like that…”
Asked, Mawrie said the party would definitely take up the matter with the Centre since the Saubhagya scheme is centrally sponsored and funded by the government at Delhi adding “The Centre has got the right to suggest to the state government to go for CBI inquiry.”
“And after we have seen in the section of the press that even CAG have given that report that there is a scam to the tune of 149 crore, will follow up with that…we want that inquiry by the CBI so that truth will come out as corruption has taken place in the MeECL for a very long time,” he stated.
Further, the BJP has also threatened to take legal action against the MeECL for its alleged failure to provide information sought under the Right to Information Act, 2005 on the implementation of the Saubhagya scheme.
Mawrie said that his party was the first one to take up the issue regarding the Saubhagya scheme by filing RTI.
“However, it is very sad that of course we receive the reply from MeECL but we are not satisfied,” he informed.
According to him, the party had sought details which include Utilization Certificates (UCs), the number of beneficiaries and others – after seeing there are lots of irregularities taking place.
“When I travelled to Tura via Nongstoin, I saw it with my own eyes… a lot of transformers, electricity poles, wires are lying for months – so I wrote one letter to the power minister at the centre and they informed me that this project is a time bound project.
They have to complete in time and that is why we want to see that because we have heard they cancel the tender and again they recall the tender which we have seen in the media reports they cancel the tender and allot it within three days. The rate is increasing which affects the MeECL and even the government because they have given the specific amount to utilize and to complete the ongoing projects of the scheme,” he said.
Stating that the party would again seek details from the MeECL, Mawrie said, “If they don’t give proper reply, we have to sue them in the Court so that the truth will come out.”
Meanwhile, the BJP state president was tight lipped on the demand for the removal of the incumbent power minister James K Sangma by saying, “I have nothing to say. I will leave it to the wisdom of the Chief Minister.”
Mawrie further informed that the BJP is part of the coalition government and its national president and Meghalaya Incharge Dr M Chuba Ao had already requested the Chief Minister to call for the MDA meeting to further discuss on the issue.
“Therefore, I cannot give any statement on this. Let us wait for that as we will have to discuss it (James’ removal) on that platform,” he added.