Bribery charges by BJP MP rattle Assam govt, irrigation minister under scanner
Speaking to a local news channel earlier this week, Tezpur MP Ram Prasad Sharma said several ministers in the 16-month-old government take bribes in return for awarding contracts. He specifically mentioned Ranjit Dutta as one of the offenders.india Updated: Oct 06, 2017 20:35 IST
The BJP-led coalition government in Assam has come under intense scrutiny after a party MP accused several ministers in the state cabinet of corruption.
Speaking to a local news channel on Wednesday, Tezpur MP Ram Prasad Sharma said several ministers in the 16-month-old government take bribes in return for awarding contracts. A noted lawyer, Sharma specifically accused irrigation and handlooms minister Ranjit Dutta of taking 10% commission for each contract given away.
Dutta has denied the allegation, urging Sharma to back his charges with concrete proof. “I have already explained my stand on the issue to chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal and state unit chief Ranjit Das. They will decide the future course of action,” he told Hindustan Times.
Sharma’s allegations have created a stir in the government, which came to power in May last year on the anti-corruption plank. “Such comments from a person like Sharma are unwarranted. If he had any proof of misdeeds, he should have aired them in the party forum instead of the media,” said Bijoya Chakraborty, another BJP MP from Assam.
The party’s Assam unit will convene an emergency meeting of state office bearers on Saturday to discuss the issue. Sonowal has asked Sharma to substantiate his claims, assuring that nobody would be spared if they are found to be true.
This is not the first time Dutta, a senior BJP leader representing Behali constituency in the state assembly, has come under the scanner. In March this year, the anti-corruption and vigilance wing of the Assam Police arrested Kujendra Doley, a secretary in Dutta’s irrigation department, for accepting a bribe in his office.