After Congress, Aam Aadmi Party too have demanded Union minister Kiren Rijiju be sacked for “trying to sweep under the carpet”, the alleged Rs 450-crore power scam in Arunachal Pradesh.
Addressing a press conference, party leader Ashish Khetan said the Minister of State for Home Affairs not only wrote a letter to Power Minister Piyush Goyal to release funds of contractors in state-run North Eastern Electric Power Corporation Limited (NEEPCO) project, but also “hid the fact that his brother was a sub-contractor in it”.
Media reports state that Rijiju; his cousin Goboi Rijiju, a contractor in Arunachal Pradesh; and several top officials of NEEPCO, including its Chairman and Managing Director, have been named in a 129-page report by PSU’s Chief Vigilance Officer Satish Verma that alleges corruption in construction of two dams for 600 MW Kameng Hydro Electric Project, one of the biggest hydro-electric projects in the stare.
NEEPCO comes under the Union Power Ministry.
Verma’s report was sent to the CBI, CVC and the Ministry of Power in July this year. It alleges an “elaborate conspiracy” involving contractors, NEEPCO officials and the West Kameng district administration to defraud NEEPCO and the government of funds that “may extend up to Rs 450 crore”.
West Kameng, the site of the project, falls in Arunachal West, which is the parliamentary constituency of MoS Rijiju.
Khetan said the modus operandi of the alleged scam appears to be like the fodder scam in Bihar where bills were generated in name of transportation, causing loss to the exchequer.
“The minister tried to sweep the matter under carpet. The officer was also pressurised to soften the report. The contractor brother also tried to influence the probe using the minister’s name.
“Rijiju should immediately be sacked and the Prime Minister should set up a high level probe to investigate the matter,” Khetan said.
(With PTI inputs)