The BJP Govt is the Flag-Bearer of Corruption and Sonowal its King: Akhil Gogoi
Leader of the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) Akhil Gogoi lambasted the Sarbananda Sonowal led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Assam and termed the recruitment process in the Panchayat & Rural Development (P&RD) Department as one of the biggest scams in the history of Assam.
"The BJP government is the flag-bearer of corruption and Sarbananda Sonowal its king," said Gogoi addressing a press conference in Guwahati on Friday, March 8. He was referring to the recently announced appointments to the Assam Panchayat & Rural Development (P&RD) Department.
Attacking the current government for allegedly appointing BJP leaders and petty leaders’ family members in the P&RD recruitment, Gogoi said that the scam was much bigger than the infamous Assam Public Service Commission (APSC) scam which made major headlines throughout the country.
He further alleged the direct involvement of State Transport Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary and State Cultural Affairs Minister Naba Kumar Doley into the massive irregularities in the appointments and announced an agitation programme against the present state government for the alleged irregularities into the appointments.
Gogoi, during the press conference, questioned the government’s move to have announced the appointments in spite of the Criminal Investigation Department's (CID) submission of investigation report citing irregularities in the recruitment exam.
“According to the CID report, a number of irregularities were detected in the recruitment process. Without the verification of documents, practical marks were provided and overnight, the names of the selected candidates were published on the P&RD website. No police verification was conducted for the selected 945 candidates who were asked to join the department immediately. The same cash-for-job of Assam Public Service Commission process was used in P&RD department,” he alleged.
He also made certain demands to the chief minister to resolve the issue. “Firstly, Bloom Electronic Pvt Ltd, which has conducted the exams, should be blacklisted. Secondly, the CM should launch a CBI inquiry into the matter. Thirdly, Panchayat & Rural Development Minister Naba Doley should be removed from his post,” Gogoi said.
BJP Assam accused of job scam in P&RD Recruitment, CID submits report
On the eve of poll notification in Assam, the Bhartiya Janata Party had been accused of completing a massive job scam in the Panchayat & Rural Development and State Information Department, denying jobs to thousands of meritorious candidates.
It has been alleged that the BJP filled up the posts either with party supporters, relatives of party leaders, party sympathizers or had taken money. The appointment had taken place in the Panchayat & Rural Development, where 900 posts were filled up in various categories and 64 posts of the Information & Public Relation Department.
In the exams that were held in May 2018 across the state, nearly 20,000 people appeared. Yet the entire process was completed in less than 15 days and posted in less than 24 hours. Additionally, even the police verifications were completed in less than 24 hours.
This raised suspicion and fingers were raised at the Officer on Special Duty (OSD) Rajib Prakash Baruah, who was the former director of the department and is now on an extension after retirement.
The suspicion further grew when it was found that over 60% of the seats in the P&RD department had gone to the BJP party and it was thus alleged that the posts were sold for cash.
It had been reported that the question papers for the examinations were not sealed. “Normally, it is the candidates who should open the seal of the question paper. But during the examination, the question papers were open, making them vulnerable to leaks,” a source had informed.
While there were reports of shortage of question papers in some centres, the paper was also leaked on WhatsApp at some places. It had been suspected that some students inside the examination hall at some centres managed to take their mobile phones inside the hall and click pictures of the question papers and thereby leaked it on the WhatsApp groups which went viral later.
Bucking under the pressure, Dispur decided to move the CID to conduct an inquiry into the alleged rampant irregularities. The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) then submitted the investigation report of the anomalies in the recruitment examination for vacant posts in the Panchayat & Rural Development (P&RD) Department.
The CID found a large number of irregularities in the examination. According to reports, there were massive irregularities in 18 examination centres of 9 districts and it suggested that 28 candidates were expelled for using unfair means during the examination.
Notably, the investigation report was submitted a day after the appointments in the P&RD. There were also widespread allegations from all over the state that the BJP made sure all their leaders and leaders’ families were taken care of in the appointment. Yet the names of the selected candidates were published on the P&RD website.
CM orders probe into alleged irregularities in appointments
Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal, taking strong note of the alleged irregularities in the appointment of permanent posts in Panchayat & Rural Development Department (P&RD), has ordered in inquiry into the controversy.
Taking cognizance of the reported controversy, he has directed institution of a one-man inquiry by Additional Chief Secretary Jishnu Baruah to inquire into the whole episode and submit a report to the government at the earliest.
Earlier on March 8, the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) advisor Akhil Gogoi lambasted the Sarbananda Sonowal-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Assam and termed the recruitment process in the Panchayat & Rural Development (P&RD) Department one of the biggest scams in the history of Assam.