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BJP demands CBI probe into JHADC, GHADC funds misappropriation

Shillong, Sep 8: The state unit of the BJP has demanded a CBI enquiry into alleged misappropriation of central government funds in the Jaiñtia Hills Autonomous District Council (JHADC) and its counterpart in Garo Hills (GHADC).
BJP state President Ernest Mawrie told reporters today that he has written to the Union Ministry of Finance about the issue.
He said that in the JHADC, the present Executive Committee led by the National People’s Party (NPP) and United Democratic Party (UDP) has diverted Rs 20 crore meant for development activities to pay for salaries to council members and staff.
In the GHADC Mawrie alleged that the EC, led by the NPP, has misused an amount of more than Rs 5 crore to make documentary films and radio jingles by quoting exorbitant amounts and for which tenders were allotted without following proper procedures.
BJP MDC in the JHADC, Lakhon Biam said, “We do not know if the contractors who executed the developmental schemes have been paid or not because the money has been utilized for payment of salary for the staff and members of the JHADC.”
He also said that the present EC has also used council funds in the name of giving financial assistance to some people who are the supporters of the MDCs on the ruling side, ranging from Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 lakh. These monies were deposited into the bank accounts of the MDCs, he alleged further.
The utilization of central funds in the JHADC also violated guidelines by not getting approval from competent technical experts or the State Level Committee for estimates and projects, he added.
“When we pointed out these irregularities, the EC stated that such procedures are not required and this has clearly shown that large-scale corruption has taken place. We want proper implementation of projects and proper utilization of the funds. We do not want funds to be misused, as it was in the case of the funds meant for the construction of Ïawmusiang in Jowai by the JHADC in the past,” Biam said.
Mawrie said that the party’s focus is in rooting out corruption even though it is an ally of the NPP and UDP at the state government level. The BJP has two MLAs and one of them, AL Hek is the Health and Family Welfare Minister.
To a question if the BJP would withdraw support from the NPP-UDP-led government in the state, Mawrie said that the party will try to speak to the Meghalaya government to put a stop to such corrupt activities in the two district councils.
“If that fails, the party is ready to withdraw support,” the BJP president warned.
Mawrie also said that the party will seek information through an RTI into the utilization of central government funds in the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC).
Among the three district councils in the state, the KHADC received the largest funding from New Delhi – close to Rs 190 crore between 2015 and 2019.
Mawrie said that out of Rs 1,000 crore allocated by the Centre for autonomous district councils in the North East in 2016, the KHADC was given Rs 133.12 crore, the JHADC Rs 33.67 crore and the GHADC Rs 100.71 crore. Further amounts – Rs 50.17 crore for the KHADC, Rs 45 crore for the GHADC and Rs 16.73 crore for the JHADC – were dispensed by the Centre in 2019.