Shillong: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which is a constituent in the ruling Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) government, has requested Chief Minister Conrad Sangma to immediately convene an MDA meeting to discuss the functioning of the Meghalaya Energy Corporation Limited (MeECL) and implementation of Saubhagya Scheme in the state.
The demand for the MDA meeting gains significance in the wake of the growing clamour for a CBI probe into the alleged financial bungling of over Rs 149 crore in the implementation of Saubhagya scheme in the state which aims to provide electricity to poor households.
“I have seen media reports and also been informed that partners of the MDA government are demanding a CBI probe into the MeECL and alleged financial bungling in the implementation of Saubhagya scheme. Therefore, I humbly request the Chief Minister to immediately convene the MDA meeting to discuss the issue,” BJP national vice president and Meghalaya in-charge, Dr M Chuba Ao said.
“The Power Minister (James Sangma) who is in eye of the storm can also clarify the allegation on the matter at the MDA meeting which is the right platform to discuss the matter,” he added.
In fact, the Power Minister has denied any wrongdoings in implementing the Saubhagya scheme in the state and warned of strict action against those responsible for “leakage” of a report of the CAG, which appeared in a section of the press.
“If everything is a scam, by that yardstick what the previous governments have done can also be categorised as scams,” the Power Minister said.
The government has constituted a three-member commission headed by retired Allahabad High Court judge Ifaqat Ali Khan, Manoj Kumar (retired IAS) as administrative member and Sunil Kumar (retired executive director, Rural Electrification Corporation Ltd, REC) as technical member.
Meanwhile, the Hynniewtrep Youth Council (HYC) has asserted that the state government should constitute a CBI inquiry into the alleged irregularities in the MeECL since the three-member inquiry committee headed by retired judge of Allahabad High Court, Ifaqat Ali Khan would not be able to initiate legal action against anyone even if the probe unearths any scam.
“The constitution of the inquiry committee is only a delay tactic since the Chief Minister and the government is aware of the corruption in the implementation of the Saubhagya scheme. We urge the cabinet ministers, political parties and the MLAs supporting the NPP-led MDA Government to demand a CBI probe,” HYC general secretary, Roy Kupar Synrem said.
Accusing that the Power Minister was involved in the alleged misappropriation of Rs 149 crore in the implementation of the Saubhagya scheme, Synrem said, “Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma will always try to protect his elder brother (James Sangma). He will never ask the police to arrest the Power Minister even if his involvement in the misappropriation of funds is proved.”