After unearthing documents of alleged favouritism in allotment of mines in Jharkhand, the country’s Enforcement Directorate (ED) has found that former chief minister Madhu Koda and his associates turned the Rajiv Gandhi Gramin Vidyutikaran Yojana or rural electrification programme into a complete farce.
From September 2006 till August 2008 Koda was chief minister and also held charge as Power Minister. During this period his government awarded contracts for construction of transmission lines worth Rs 1,480 crore under the programme, an ED official involved in the probe against Koda said.
The scheme was launched by the central government to complete household electrification in rural areas. “Most allotments seem to have been made in clear violation of rules and regulations. It was Koda’s associate Binod Sinha, the kingpin of the Rs 2,000-crore money laundering scam, who took decisions on awarding of contracts,” said an ED official who did not want to be named. “Besides the records relating to mines, we’re also looking into the electrification projects now,” he added.
Sinha, who ran a small tractor spare parts shop in Chaibasa before Koda became chief minister turned into a muti-
millionaire in a short span of time.
Income Tax (IT) department officials said Sinha — who is missing — was so powerful during the Koda regime that top Jharkhand officers would make a beeline in front of his house for postings and transfers. He even funded Koda’s elections, they said.
Koda’s lawyer Rahul Kumar, however, told HT: “I have only heard about the charges regarding mining deals or illegal transactions. We’re yet to receive any seizure report either from the Income Tax department or the ED. Only after receiving the report, will we be able to comment.”
IT officials probing the scam detected that the Koda group had deposited cash amounting to crores of rupees with the Zaveri Bazar branch of the Union Bank of India in Mumbai. Cash worth nearly Rs 62 crore was deposited between February and March,
Koda, who was discharged from a hospital on Sunday, spent Monday at his residence in Ranchi. IT sleuths are likely to resume interrogating him on Tuesday.
Many people visited Koda but mediapersons were not permitted to meet him.
(With inputs from Bedanti Saran in Ranchi)