Assam: UPPL sniffs over Rs 100 cr scam in BTC, demands CBI probe
Kokrajhar: Alleging irregularities to the tune of over Rs 100 crore in various departments of Bodoland People’s Front (BPF)-ruled Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) administration during the last 15 years, the United Peoples Party Liberal (UPPL), in a memorandum, has requested the Assam governor to hand over the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for a thorough investigation into the alleged irregularities.
Hailing the decision of the Assam governor Jagdish Mukhi to impose Governor’s rule in the BTC region, Raju Kumar Narzary, secretary, UPPL and Kamal Azad, secretary (IT cell), UPPL, while addressing media persons on Friday, alleged that the BPF elected representatives in BTC and some senior officers of the administration were involved in the large-scale corruption in different departments over the years.
The UPPL leaders alleged that a scam of Rs 75 crore alone has taken place in the department of cooperation of the BTC. “This massive scam has already been taken place under the national food security mission in BTAD districts. The BPF elected representatives and a section of senior officials are involved in this scam,” the UPPL leaders alleged.
It is learnt that more than 2,000 fixed pay salary staff had been appointed recently without publishing any public circulation about the job vacancies in departments like health, transport, social welfare, PWD, irrigation etc.
The appointment was made by allegedly following all scrupulous means, especially by giving approval and issuing appointment letters on the same day, the UPPL leaders alleged.
The candidates were allegedly selected for the appointment violating all standing norms, including the code of conduct of the BTC elections.
“However, the letters of the BTC government for appointment or approval show backdated appointment of the candidates i.e., dated March 7, 2020, whereas the BTC election notification was released on March 11, 2020. The truth of the appointment would be uncovered only after a proper inquiry done by country’s top investigation agency,” the memorandum alleged.
An amount of Rs 15 crore has already been misappropriated in the panchayat and rural development department of the BTC by allocating tenders to some of the contractors without publishing any tender notice, the memorandum further alleged.
Referring to CAG reports since 2008-2009 to 2013-14, where massive irregularities were reported in the BTC, the UPPL leaders also alleged that instead of investigating into the irregularities following the CAG reports, unabated anomalies were taking place in annual revenue receipt, diversion of funds in different departments, Bodoland Lotteries etc., under the very nose of the then chief executive member Hagrama Mohilary.
“There are credible reports of the release of Rs 120 crore budget by the state government just before the notification of the BTC election. The said budget was meant for undertaking new schemes within the BTC. However, about Rs 80 crore from the said total budget has been incurred for the payment of outstanding liabilities instead of creating new or fresh schemes. This indicates the total violation of the guidelines under the 14th finance scheme. Details of other remaining amount of about Rs 40 crore are still unknown,” the memorandum alleged.
Assam governor Jagdish Mukhi’s recent decision to place the BTC under his rule has irked the BPF -- an alliance of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the state. BPF leader and BTC CEM Hagrama Mohilary lost the control over the BTC after 17 long years.
Mukhi had placed the BTC region, which covers four districts collectively called the BTAD, under governor’s rule after the state election commission expressed inability to hold polls there due to the ongoing Covid-19 lockdown. BTC’s tenure expired on April 27.
In a series of tweets, former BTC chief and president of BPF, Hagrama Mohilary, opposed the decision to impose governor’s rule in the BTC and informed that his party has filed a petition in the Gauhati High Court against Mukhi’s order.