New Delhi, December 13
Union minister Kiren Rijiju on Tuesday rejected allegations of his involvement in the Arunachal Pradesh power projects scam by saying that those who ‘planted’ the story in the media ‘will be beaten up with shoes’.
“Jo news plant kar rahe hain wo hamare yehan ayyenge to joota khayenge (Those who planted the story will be beaten up with shoes when they will come to our area),” the Tawang MP told media persons in New Delhi reacting to media reports that he had written a letter to power minister Piyush Goyal seeking early clearance of bills related to a hydroelectric project in Arunachal Pradesh.
Rijiju, minister of state for home, said he was carrying out his duty by taking action on his people’s interests as a member of parliament.
“I have written the letter to the power minister after I received presentations from some people in my constituency in Arunachal West regarding pending bills. I have done no wrong and there is no corruption,” Rijiju said. The reports claimed that Rijiju, his cousin, a contractor in Arunachal Pradesh, Goboi Rijiju, and several top officials of the state-run NEEPCO, including its chairman and managing director, have been named in a 129-page report by the 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 projects in Arunachal Pradesh.
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 Rijiju.
The CBI has made two “surprise checks” but no FIR has been registered yet, reports said. Chief vigilance officer Satish Verma, a Gujarat IPS officer, was pulled up by NEEPCO for “unauthorised absence,” and transferred to the CRPF in Tripura soon after his report.
Verma was also part of the three-member SIT set up to probe the alleged fake encounter of Ishrat Jahan in Gujarat in 2004 when Narendra Modi was the chief minister.
New Delhi, December 13