New Delhi, Feb 12 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Saturday alleged corruption of Rs.63,000 crore in development projects in the northeastern states by the local Congress governments, and said it will approach President Pratibha Patil and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to seek a thorough inquiry into the issue.
Releasing reports “Congress governments’ loot of North East” and “Hydro Power Scam Arunachal – North East”, brought out by a three-member party fact-finding committee, BJP president Nitin Gadkari said strict action should be taken against all those found guilty.
“I will meet the president with the records. The leaders of opposition in the two houses will meet the prime minister. We hope the government will order an inquiry in the interest of the country,” he said.
BJP leader Kirit Somaiya, who was a member of the committee which also included BJP vice-president Bijaya Chakravarty and general secretary Tapir Gao, said six northeastern states of Assam, Manipur, Arunchal Pradesh, Sikkim, Nagaland and Mizoram had been hit by scams.
“Hydro power projects (in the northeast) are of Rs.400,000 crore. Kickbacks have been given per mega watt of projected capacity. Highly technical projects of crores of rupees have been given to new start-ups,” he said.
The Congress government that came to power in Arunachal Pradesh in 2004 signed 137 MoUs in two years and projects were awarded to dubious companies, Somaiya said.
Various investigative agencies as well as the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) had raised questions about the scams, including those relating to central schemes and public distribution system but action has hardly been taken against the scamsters, he added.
Somaiya said Assam had earned the dubious distinction of being the most corrupt state in the country on the basis of corruption in 11 vital services in a study conducted jointly by Transparency International and Centre for Media Study.
“The Gogoi government has been the most corrupt government in the country,” he alleged.
The party demanded special courts to try the accused in the scams, coordinated investigation by agencies such as the National Investigative Agency and Central Bureau of Investigation, special audit of all the scams, time-bound action on strictures of CAG, seizing property of those found guilty and recovery of the money swindled.
Attacking the Congress, Gadkari alleged that despite the talk against corruption by party president Sonia Gandhi, “the loot of the country” had not stopped.
“How empty are Sonia’s promises against corruption. The loot has not come down. The whole (Congress) house is behind (it),” he said.
Since the prime minister is an MP from Assam, the country expects tough action from him on cases of corruption in the northeastern states, Gadkari said.
He said the BJP was giving a final shape to an anti-corruption measure, which will be discussed at the meeting of its office-bearers in Kolkata Feb 16 and later sent to BJP-ruled states and serve as a guideline for governance.
Gadkari said he will also urge Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairman Murli Manohar Joshi to give directions to the government to present the CAG reports on the northeastern states.
He also said the party is preparing a vision document for the northeast.