Uttarakhand minister sets off alarm bells in Congress camp

Dehra Dun : Labour minister Govind Singh Bist had alarm bells ringing within the Congress party in the state, when he told newspersons in Nainital on Thursday that shortly some former Congress ministers in the earlier Narain Dutt Tewari government in Uttarakhand will be behind bars shortly.

He said that out of the 56 allegations of omission and commission by the previous Congress government, that were being probed by a one-man commission, in as many as 17 there was sufficient proof. “A charge sheet is being prepared against some of the ministers allegedly responsible for as many as 17 scams”, he added.

Asserting that the probe so far done in the 56 allegations had reflected the involvement of some of the ministers of the N D Tewari government in the scam, he said that they related to purchase of medicines, allotment of industries, purchase of agricultural equipment and contracts having been given to favoured contractors in violation of all norms and rules.

Bist said that after the confirmation by the one-man commission of the alleged involvement of some of the ministers the state vigilance department had got to work and was working on 17 of the scams. “In about a month’s time the people will know about it”, he claimed.

However, senior Congress leader Dinesh Aggarwal said that the Khanduri-led BJP government in the state was misusing the state machinery to implicate Congress leaders, specially the ministers in the previous Tewari government in framed up cases, which would fall flat in the court of law.

“It is a known fact that the chief minister, aware of the sliding graph and all-time low popularity of the BJP government, is now leaning on the crutches of Anna Hazare to prevent the complete route of the party in the hustings and thus playing up the issue of corruption. Such gimmicks will not cut much ice with the voters”, he pointed out.

Aggarwal said that wheras the Congress is taking up the plank of development for the coming elections, which was highlighted by the laying of the foundation syone of the Rishikesh-Karanprayag railway line and a promise to lay down two more tracks including one in Kumaon, the BJP was just harping on corruption.

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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