Congress slams Rijiju with audio clip, demands resignation

Congress slams Rijiju with audio clip, demands resignation

New Delhi, Dec 13: The Congress party on Tuesday demanded the resignation of Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju for his alleged involvement in a scam relating to an Arunachal Pradesh hydro project, being executed by NEEPCO.

Congress leader Randeep Surjewala, quoting the Chief Vigilance Officer (CVO) of NEEPCO, said the scam would be to the tune of Rs 450 crore and demanded a thorough investigation into the matter.

The Congress on Tuesday released an audio clip of a purported conversation between Chief Vigilance Officer Satish Verma of North Eastern Electric Power Corporation and MoS Kiren Rijiju's cousin brother Goboi Rijiju. Earlier on Tuesday, the Indian Expressreported that Verma had named MoS Home Kiren Rijiju, his cousin Goboi Rijiju and others alleging corruption in a hydro electric power project in Arunachal Pradesh. The Congress has demanded Rijiju's resignation.

"The Minister has no right to remain on his post. Prime Minister Narendra Modi who talks of transparency and honesty should get this (Rijiju's involvement in scam) investigated by an independent agency," Surjewala said

"The Prime Minister should either sack the Minister of State or ask for his resignation."

Surjewala also demanded an investigation against all the senior officials associated with the project.

"An unprecendeted case of corruption in a project being executed by NEEPCO has come to light. There are serious facts available in public domain which indicate a scam of Rs 450 crore," said Surjewala.

"CBI has made two surprise checks of the project but has failed to even register an FIR, since it has become a puppet of Modi government," he said.

The Congress claimed that fake and inflated bills were submitted by contractors for transportation of rocks for construction of dams and the methodology brought out by the CVO was very clear.

"Vehicles that were used for transporation for which payment worth crores of rupees was made were actually found to be carrying registration numbers of either scooters or motor cycles or cars instead of heavy trucks. Many of the vehicle numbers were found to be fake," said Surjewala.

"All these were happening as Goboi Rijiju, Rijiju's brother, had gone to meet the CVO. Goboi Rijiju was influencing the CVO to make and release payment of the contractors which were under question," added Surjewala.

"He was trying to influence the CVO by saying that his brother (Kiren Rijiju) will use his office to ensure promotion of the CVO if he cooperated in releasing the payments."

"It has also come out in the tape that the Arunachal government was being at that time toppled and there seems to be a connection with making of these payments.

"Were these payments used to buy and sell legislators is a matter that needs to be seriously probed," added Surjewala.

"Till a free and fair investigation is held based on the report, the Minister, since he has been influencing payments through his brother, has no right to continue as MoS Home even for a day."

Surjewala's allegations came after a national daily did a story quoting a report of the CVO of NEEPCO who claimed that there was a scam relating to an Arunachal Pradesh hydro project .

However, Rijiju on Tuesday slammed the daily for "planting" a story about his alleged involvement in a power project and said if they visit Arunachal Pradesh, they will be "thrashed with shoes".

The newspaper claimed that he had written letters to clear payments of the contractors in the construction of two dams for the 600MW Kameng Hydro Electric Project in Arunachal Pradesh.

(Source: IANS, Inputs from National herald)

(Featured Image Source: Internet/ Representational)

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