James Sangma refutes allegation of involvement with coal trader Balwant Soni

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Refuting the accusation of illegal coal trade and his involvement with coal trader Balwant Soni, Health and Family Welfare Minister James PK Sangma on Friday said as election approaches, such baseless accusations and allegations will keep coming.

The cabinet minister’s name popped up during the arrest of Soni as it exposed the Unholy Nexus between Coal Traders and Politicians.

“It is one thing to throw accusations at people and it is completely something else to substantiate that with evidence. Accusations fly left and right. I have not seen the video, but whatever it is I am sure that we have no involvement and these are just mere accusations,” Sangma said.

Asked if it is political propaganda ahead of the 2023 polls, Sangma said, “Yes, absolutely. As we inch closer to the elections we can expect such kind of frivolous activities, baseless accusations and allegations to keep coming up.”

Earlier in February this year,  Balwant Soni alias Bhama was arrested based on an FIR lodged by the Assam tax department about pilferage of Rs 40 crore.

In the past month, Bhama is said to have purchased a Jeep, a Fortuner and some heavy machines (excavators) – mostly with money he was illegally siphoning off through the use of his e-way bills from coal businessmen in Gasuapara in South Garo Hills.

The arrest of Bhama along with four others has once again taken the lid off the alleged deep nexus at the higher political level.