New Delhi | BJP today sought to target yet another Congress-ruled state, Uttarakhand, alleging that Chief Minister Harish Rawat’s Personal Secretary was openly asking for commission from a private company middleman, in lieu of award of the liquor distribution contract.
Armed with the sting of a video recording, in which Mohammad Shahid, PS to the CM is purportedly asking for commission, senior BJP leader and Minister for Commerce Nirmala Sitharaman claimed the liquor scam ran into hundreds of crore of rupees.
We demand immediate resignation of Uttarakhand CM. Is this what the blueprint Congress has for development of a state ravaged by natural disasters and with tourism, the main bread-earner, in shambles? Ms Sitharaman asked.
According to the BJP leader, Mr Rawat was sent as replacement of Vijay Bahuguna for the CM’s post because Mr Bahuguna was not able to handle the rehabilitation measures, following a cloudburst calamity in the state a few years ago.
The first thing he did after taking charge of the CM post was to change the liquor policy. He handed over the entire distribution of liquor from Garhwal Vikas Mandal, a government body, to private players, Ms Sitharaman told the mediapersons.
Instead of focusing on the rehabilitation of people affected by a large scale tragedy, rebuilding homes and schools for women and children, the CM and his PS devoted full time in managing the liquor business in person, she alleged.
After taking away the distribution part, the Garhwal Vikas Mandal is now left with the responsibility of only transportation of liquor in the state, causing a huge loss of exchequer to the state,
”That’s another irony that the Mandal, which is supposed to promote agriculture, has been tasked with transporting liquor to the vends in the state, she quipped.
This is the third Congress-ruled state, which BJP has snared in its corruption charges net. The party has demanded a CBI probe in bribery by an American construction company Louis Berger International of Ministers in the erstwhile Congress-ruled Goa, and incumbent Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh Virbhadra Singh, who is facing CBI probe in the disproportionate assets case.
The Saffron party is keen on turning the tables on the Opposition, which is disrupting Parliament in demand of the resignation of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje for having links with the controversial former IPL chief Lalit Modi, and of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan in the Vyapam scam.
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