BJP threatens to come out of MDA government over corruption charges in JHADC, GHADC; CBI probe demanded

BJP president to release manifesto on Feb 15

Shillong, Sep 8: In Meghalaya, the BJP which is part of the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) government, has threatened to withdraw support if corruption is not stopped in the Jaiñtia Hills Autonomous District Council (JHADC) and Garo Hills Autonomous District (GHADC).

In GHADC, the National People’s Party (NPP) is leading the Executive Committee with the support of the BJP.

In JHADC, the Executive Committee is led by the NPP and UDP, whereas BJP members sit in the Opposition.

Meghalaya BJP president Ernest Mawrie on Tuesday said that the party has demanded a CBI inquiry into the alleged misuse of crores of rupees in GHADC and JHADC which were sanctioned by the Central government under the Special Assistance Grant.

Mawrie said that the Central funds had been given to the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council, JHADC and GHADC under the SAG to develop the underdeveloped areas, but funds in the two Autonomous District Councils (GHADC and JHADC) were found to have been misused by the Executive Committee of the NPP and UDP.

“In JHADC, the fund around Rs 20 crore was misused for payment of salaries to the staff and members of the Council, while in GHADC, Rs 5 crore was misused for making documentary films and radio jingles by quoting exorbitant prices and tenders were allotted without following due procedures,” Mawrie alleged.

He said that the guidelines for utilizing the Central funds have clearly stated that the funds should be used for developmental works in underdeveloped areas.

Meghalaya has three Autonomous District Councils – Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council, GHADC and JHADC created under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution.

Mawrie also wondered why the BJP was made to sit in the Opposition in JHADC by the NPP and UDP.

To a question why the BJP did not touch the KHADC when the Central funds under SAG were also released to the KHADC, Mawrie while defending said, “the party would seek information by using the RTI Act to find out misutilization of funds in the KHADC too.”

The KHADC received the highest fund from the Centre close to Rs 190 crore under SAG between 205-2016 and 2019.

Mawrie said that out of Rs 1000 crore allocated by the Centre for autonomous district councils in the Northeast, on September 29, 2016, the KHADC was given Rs 133.12 crore, JHADC Rs 33.67 crore and the GHADC got Rs 100.71 crore.

He also informed that on March 7, 2019, the Central government had again released funds for the district councils in Meghalaya. “The KHADC received over Rs 34.87 crore, GHADC Rs 31.40 crore and JHADC received Rs 11,62,65,000,” Mawrie said.

Moreover, Mawrie said that on March 30, 2019, the KHADC has again received Rs 15.30 crore, GHADC got Rs 13.60 crore, and the JHADC received Rs 5.10 crore.

The BJP has two MLAs and one of them, A L Hek is the Health and Family Welfare minister in the MDA government led by the NPP and UDP.

“The stand of the party is against corruption. Even if they (NPP & UDP) are allies now, the BJP had fought the election on its own ideologies without allies. We will try to speak to the State government to put a stop to such corruption in the JHADC and GHADC. If it fails, the party is ready to pull out support,” the BJP state president threatened.

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