APCC alleges fund embezzlement, Felix terms it ‘politically motivated’

ITANAGAR, Feb 21: The Arunachal Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) has alleged that RWD Minister Bamang Felix, “in connivance with Chief Minister Pema Khandu,” has been forcing officers to collect 6 percent from contractors of new PMGSY projects, irrespective of the amount, and 2 percent at the second stage of those projects, “in a bid to mobilize funds for the upcoming assembly and Lok Sabha elections.”
The APCC alleged that MoS for Home Kiren Rijiju “also gets a cut of the collected funds,” and demanded a CBI investigation into the allegation.
The Congress claimed that the collected fund in cash could run into Rs 166.225 crore (Rs 132.87 crore from the 6 percent, and Rs 33.35 crore from the 2 percent).
“The hard-earned public fund allocated by the Centre meant for development cannot be siphoned off by the ruling party for political purposes. But moving the special investigation cell (which is) being dictated by the state government would yield no result. Regrettably, the chief secretary, despite being the chief vigilance officer, is a silent spectator to such embezzlement spree. The (Congress) party representatives will leave for New Delhi soon to lodge a complaint with the Central Bureau of Investigation for embezzlement of public fund in broad daylight,” stated APCC president Takam Sanjoy in a release.
Sanjoy also claimed that he has “concrete evidences of transactions, including the payees seeking loans at the rate of 120 percent, to pay bribes to get the projects.”
Reacting to the allegation, Felix termed it “politically motivated,” and urged the Congress not to make such an allegation without substantiating it.
“Under the visionary leadership of Pema Khandu, the state has a strong and stable government which is working hard for the development of the state. As the opposition party has no issues to raise, they are resorting to dirty politics to target the state government. There is no iota of truth, and if the Congress fails to substantiate the allegation, we will go for legal remedy,” said Felix.
He said he wondered how the Congress could make such an allegation even while the tender process is still underway.
“Tenders have been floated for 268 projects, and the process is going on. We are maintaining transparency by conducting e-tender. At this stage, no one knows who is going to get work as the process is yet to be completed. Therefore, the question of collecting money does not arise,” Felix said.
He said the allegation was “a desperate move of the opposition,” adding that the people of the state “will give them a befitting reply in the elections by reelecting the Khandu government.”