Conrad non-committal on CBI probe into BJP charges

SHILLONG: Chief Minister, Conrad Sangma in his first public response to the raging issue of alleged embezzlement of Central funds in two Autonomous District Councils – Jaintia Hills and Garo Hills – has remained non-committal on ordering a CBI inquiry.
When asked by reporters on Monday if the government was open to the idea of a CBI inquiry into the allegations, the chief minister said, “We will see how it goes.”
Earlier, the chief minister maintained that the issue is being looked into from their level while denying the allegations that government was not taking any interest or showing concern about the matter raised by BJP.
“We will definitely look into it and take appropriate action at an appropriate time,” is all that Sangma said.
The state BJP is demanding a CBI inquiry into the alleged misuse of crores of rupees under the Government of India’s Special Assistance Grant allocated to district councils for carrying out accelerated development works.
The UDP, which is an important constituent of the ruling coalition, had also expressed that the issue raised by the coalition partners of the MDA coalition should be addressed.
The allegation has gained credibility after BJP State president Ernest Mawrie disclosed that he was under instruction from party high command to take up the issue with the chief minister. Mawrie told the media last week that he had brought the matter to Conrad Sangma’s attention and had not heard from him for good two weeks. Only after that he went to the media and made it public.
The ruling NPP initially tried to dismiss the allegation with aggressive arrogance. But after there were media reports about NITI Aayog pushing DoNER Ministry for a probe that the NPP fell silent. The matter resurfaced on Monday at the chief minister’s press conference.
The opposition Congress has been demanding CBI probe and imposition of Administrator’s rule. There was no formal word from the government so far.
It may be mentioned that the State BJP has been applying relentless pressure on the coalition for a central probe in to charges of misappropriation of Rs 264 crore. The party even went to the extent of saying that in the event of no response from the state government, the party would be pulling out of the NPP-led coalition. The state BJP unit has already taken up the matter with the central leadership and was awaiting decision from party headquarter in Delhi.

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