BJP demands Jharkhand minister’s resignation for ‘managing tender’
Marandi, in a tweet, asked the CM to dismiss rural development minister Alamgir Alam and remove Mishra.Updated: Jun 25, 2020 11:42 IST
BJP’s legislature party leader Babulal Marandi on Wednesday demanded chief minister (CM) Hemant Soren to dismiss his cabinet colleague, rural development minister Alamgir Alam, and his Barhait assembly representative Pankaj Mishra for allegedly managing a government tender for the settlement of toll under Bardharwa Nagar Panchayat in Sahebgunj district.
The controversy surrounding the tender came to the fore after an audio containing telephonic conversation between minister Alam, CM’s representative Mishra and a Pakur-based contractor Shambhu Nandan Kumar went viral. In the audio, Alam and Mishra were allegedly mounting pressure on the contractor to quit from participating in the bidding process.
When the contractor didn’t budge and went to participate in auction on June 22, a mob, allegedly guided by Mishra, entered in the Nagar Panchayat building, pulled the contractor out and thrashed him.
Following this, contractor Shambhu lodged an FIR against Alam, Mishra and nine others. Two counter FIRs were also registered against the contractor.
Marandi, in a tweet, asked the CM to dismiss Alam and remove Mishra.
Marandi said, “A minister is supposed to establish the rule of law and protect the interest of government’s revenue. He is not expected to misuse the power to manage tenders causing loss to the exchequer.”
“Since the matter is directly related to you, a judicial probe should be set up in the matter to curb the illegal practice of middlemen and brokers who have created a profitable venture of managing tenders and transfer postings,” Maradi wrote in his tweet to CM Soren.
BJP’s Godda parliamentarian Nishikant Dubey too drew the CM’s attention towards the issue in a tweet.
Countering the allegations, Alam said, “It’s a conspiracy to defame me. Being a public representative, I owe a responsibility to address the problem of people of my constituency. Some people from Bardharwa came to me and lodged complaint against the contractor. I called him but he didn’t pick up the phone.”
“Around 4.30pm, he called me back. I just requested him to withdraw from Bardharwa Haat Bazaar settlement. He offered that he would leave Rajmahal instead of Bardharwa. I told him that Rajmahal is not my constituency and my only concern is with Bardharwa. During the conversation, I neither threatened him nor pressurised him. It was just a request,” he said while speaking to media on Wednesday.
The audio disclosed that soon after, the minister handed over the phone to CM’s representative Mishra, who told the contractor that he had no option except to quit from Bardharwa. “If you wouldn’t, you can’t carry your works independently in this region. Trouble will be created,” he said.
The contractor then entered into a heated argument with Mishra. Being the CM’s representative, you can’t threat common mass. I will drag you to the court.” The contractor participated in the auction next day on June 22. “They had made arrangements to prevent my entry in Bardharwa. Riding on a motorcycle with my face covered under a helmet, I somehow managed to enter the Nagar Panchayat building. But, they pulled me out and assaulted me even in the presence of police personnel. Following the ruckus, the administration cancelled the auction process,” Shambhu said.
He alleged that Mishra, through his henchmen, attacked him. Mishra, however, could not be be reached on phone despite repeated comments.