Meghlaya CM denies corruption charges by leader of opposition
Shillong, Sep. 4 (PTI): Facing accusations of corruption and nepotism in the implementation of the INR 500 crore Saubhagya scheme, Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma Wednesday asserted that proper procedures were followed by the government.
The scheme is a central project taken up to provide power to all households in the state and Leader of Opposition Mukul Sangma has accused the BJP-backed Meghalaya Democratic Alliance government of “deep corruption” in implementing it.
Mukul Sangma had said the implementation of the scheme in Meghalaya has resulted in a big scam because of the criminal conspiracy by those in the government.
He had called the Meghalaya power department a “centre for nepotism” and a “model to loot the state”.
Denying the charges, the chief minister said Due procedures were followed in the process of allotment of contracts for the implementation of the scheme. There was no favouritism. It was a clean process and the leader of opposition knows how the system works and that was followed.
As the leader of opposition, his (Mukul Sangma’s) job is to say things. But what is important is that let him also prove it,” he told PTI at the sidelines of a programme here.
The leader of the opposition had said the scam related to the terms and conditions in bidding which were manipulated to identify favoured bidders and they were allowed to be successful.
He had claimed that there was circumstantial evidence that the award of contract was more than 50 per cent of the total estimated cost prepared by the Meghalaya Electric Corporation Limited (MECL).
Alleging that there was manipulation also in the process of payment, Sangma said it was for the first time in Meghalaya that the MECL chairman had the bill prepared by the SDO and got it signed by the chief engineer without going through the due process.
He said that though the scheme is sponsored by the Centre, a matching share has to be borne by the state from its limited coffer and the actual financial bid indicated escalation of more than 50 per cent.
The state is being looted of its limited resources and there is threat due to continuous loot through manipulation and criminal conspiracy. Not just officers, political bosses too are involved in criminal conspiracy, he had said. He questioned the “sudden removal of the CMD of MECL, and said that while the original tender value for Package A for the Khasi-Jaintia region was INR 170.60 crore, the allotted amount was INR 255-258 crore, while under Package B for the Garo Hills the tender value was INR 179 crore and the allotted amount was INR 270.37 crore.
This, he had said, was just the tip of the ice-berg” and was “a model item to loot the state, Mukul Sangma had said he would bring to light more issues in the future.