Friday, March 1, 2024

AITC urges Centre to act against rampant corruption in state

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SHILLONG, June 8: Adding to the woes of the NPP-led Meghalaya Democratic Alliance, the Opposition All India Trinamool Congress on Wednesday appealed the Centre to take cognizance of blatant misuse of power and government machinery by the ruling dispensation to loot the people through illegal coal mining and transportation running across the interstate and international border.
“We would like to appeal to the Government of India to take cognizance of these cases and act accordingly,” AITC Chief Whip, George B Lyngdoh told The Shillong Times on Wednesday.
He comment was in reference to media reports about a Guwahati-based firm being involved in forging bills, undervaluing the tax invoices and transporting coal from Meghalaya to Bangladesh through the Gasuapara land Custom Station in South Garo Hills. It is alleged that infamous coal trader Balwant Soni and his family has close ties with Chief Minister Conrad Sangma’s elder sibling, James PK Sangma.
Stating that reiterating the demand for an independent inquiry would be just a joke, Lyngdoh said, “Now we only expect action from the Government of India as this is not only violation of the interstate trade, but loss of revenue, tax evasion, money laundering and involvement of people at various levels.”
He said that the GoI should give confidence to the people of the state and the country that if there is misuse of power and government machinery to loot the people of the country, the central government would act to protect the valuable resources of the country from being looted.”
It may be recalled that the former Home Minister (currently Health Minister) had vehemently denied any connection with the coal trader.
Sangma had flatly denied the charge saying that an accusation is one thing and the reality is something else.
“If we accuse anyone we need to substantiate with evidence. We all know that accusations fly left and right. I have not seen the video. Whatever it is I am very sure it is something I have no involvement in. It is just a mere accusation,” he had said.
Sangma had also questioned the timing on the resurfacing of news and said that this kind of frivolous and baseless accusations will keep coming in with elections round the corner.
The CM had also denied any illegality and said any and every movement of coal takes place with documentation.

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