Probe scams during Nishank’s tenure : Congress

Dehra Dun: Uttarakhand chief minister Maj Gen (Retd) BC Khanduri finds himself in a catch 22 situation. Even as he has promised that the report of the committee that he had set up during his first stint as chief minister of the state to probe into the alleged scams by the earlier ND Tewari-led Congress government, the Congress party here has dared Khanduri to probe into the large number of scams that allegedly occurred during the tenure of his predecessor, Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’.

In his maiden press conference immediately after taking oath of office, the chief minister promised a clean and transparent government, with focus on cleaning the government stables and eradicating corruption.

One of his first administrative orders was directing the ministers in his cabinet and also officers of the bureaucracy, both IPS and IAS, to make public their assets by Oct 15.

Journalists on the ocassion reminded Khanduri that immediately after taking over as chief minister during his first stint in2007, he had promised to probe the 57 allegations of omission and corruption by the previous N D Tewari-led Congress government in Uttarakhand and even set up a committee for it.

However, during his entire tenure of about two years during his first stint, the committee did not come out with the report.

Now that the chief minister has said that all the allegations would be probed and the report made public, also because of the fact that he has promised to remove corruption from the state and the BJP could get political mileage from the report in the vidhan sabha elections scheduled for Feb next year, the Congress has decided to hit back at Khanduri and put him on the defensive.

Union minister Harish Rawat, who undertook a whirlwind tour of the Dharampur assembly segment on Sunday, in his public speeches dared the chief minister to probe the scams allegedly committed during the tenure of his predecessor, Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’.

“It is a well known fact that the BJP high command removed Nishank as chief minister because of the number of alleged scams that took place during his tenure, so it is only in the interest of justice that they should also be probed”, said Rawat.

A journalist with over 40 years of experience, Jagdish Bhatt is Editor Hill Post (Uttarakhand). Jagdish has worked with India's leading English dailies, which include Times of India, Indian Express, Pioneer and several other reputed publications. A highly acclaimed journalist, Jagdish is a recipient of many awards, latest being the 2011 Development Journalism Award. He lives in Dehra Dun.

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