Paul alleges political rivalry behind RTI allegations

SHILLONG: A day after a former supporter of West Shillong MLA Paul Lyngdoh filed an FIR accusing him of misusing public money, the legislator said he would file a counter-FIR and a defamation suit against the complainants.
Addressing media persons in the city on Thursday, Lyngdoh said the charges, which came up years after the alleged fund
misappropriation, are politically motivated.
“These allegations are wild and it has been made by an individual who is now associated with a business house and is a beneficiary of that house,” he added.
Lyngdoh’s former supporters filed an FIR against the UDP member before the Chief Vigilance Commissioner after an RTI reply revealed that the MLA had allegedly misused public fund to the tune of Rs 55.80 lakh. A copy of the FIR was forwarded to the Assembly Speaker.
Michael Pakyntein, one of the complainants, addressed the media on Wednesday.
Lyngdoh said Pakyntein was a “well-known criminal who is currently out on bail in a kidnapping case”. He added that the implementation committee of his constituency discussed the matter and it would come out with a detailed clarification.
Pakyntein and two of his associates were arrested in 2014 before they could execute their plan to kidnap an 18-year-old boy from the city at the behest of HNLC.
Lyngdoh said Pakyntein was a part of the Seng Samla till he was expelled for his nefarious activities.
When asked whether Lyngdoh suspected a political motive behind the allegations, he replied in the affirmative saying he being the chairman of the Public Accounts Committee of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly had taken up the irregularities in construction of the abattoir at Mawiong and Jowai in which Rapsang Group of Industries is part of the joint venture.
According to Lyngdoh, it was after PAC’s intervention that several irregularities were revealed. He said contradictory to Rapsang’s claim many machines were not installed in the abattoir in Shillong.
Lyngdoh also recalled that in 2012, months before the general elections, the then Director of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary went against the norms and made an advance payment of Rs 1 crore to Rapsang firm for construction of the abattoir in Jowai.
He further added that PAC in 2014 visited the site in Jowai and found that there was little work on the ground and works only worth Rs 6-8 lakh even though an advance payment of Rs 1 crore was paid to the firm.
“All these factors indicate the sudden interest behind the RTI,” Lyngdoh said.

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