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The State BJP has levelled allegations against the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA), accusing it of attempting to cover up illegal transportation of coal through fake challan businesses.
A press release issued by BJP state vice-president Bernard Marak alleged that some ministers wanted to cover up illegal coal transportation and get more coal out of the state.
“They have even overlooked the order passed by the Court in favour of Salgira Marak, which is an attempt by ministers involved in the illegal coal trade to most probably print fake challans,” said the BJP vice-president, adding that the government was trying to amend the service book of the department to remove Salgira Marak, the director of printing and stationery.
Recently, the High Court had passed an order in favour of Salgira Marak, quashing the government’s notification to appoint him as the Officer on Special Duty (OSD). Salgira Marak had moved the court, after being removed from the post of director of the Printing and Stationery Department, challenging the government’s decision to transfer him.
“The ministers are desperate to take control of the Printing and Stationery department because it is where they print all the challans required for the transportation of coal. It is the only option left to illegally legalise the illegal coal transportation,” Bernard said.
“Relentless efforts are being made to take over the department which prints all government challans, forms, PWD cheque books, etc.”
According to the BJP, it was monitoring certain ministers whom it believed were trying to appoint their officers into high ranked posts with no legal proceedings.
Last month, BJP legislator Sanbor Shullai had asked its party leaders to stop attacking the MDA government, stating that issues had to be discussed at relevant forums. Shullai, one of the two BJP legislators part of the MDA, had also said that he would request the Chief Minister to call for an all-government meeting to resolve any issues.
The business of challans has been one of the most lucrative in the state in the past, with middlemen allegedly in compliance with those that have gained the transport orders, earning crore of rupees by hiking its prices.
This is a developing story. Follow this space for more updates.
(Edited by Ladiangti Rani)