Guwahati, Feb 2 (IANS): Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today admitted that graft has taken place under his rule, but launched a counter attack claiming the two terms of main opposition Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) were also ridden by rampant corruption.
"I would not say there was no corruption during our government. Yes, corruption did take place, but then the AGP's two terms were not free from corruption either," the chief minister told journalists.
"If there was no corruption during the AGP's tenure, then why did the CBI chargesheet then chief minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta and seek the governor's sanction to prosecute him."
The chief minister was reacting to the AGP's demand for expulsion of corrupt ministers allegedly involved in a multimillion rupee scam in the North Cachar Hills district being probed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
The opposition AGP stalled assembly proceedings for the second straight day, with the speaker forced to adjourn the house Wednesday. The opposition was demanding action against corrupt ministers.
"We welcome any discussion on corruption or other issues, but then why is the AGP trying to stall the proceedings? The AGP must have been sleeping for the past nine years of my government and only now has realised the issue of corruption as elections are around the corner," Gogoi said.
"This is nothing but an election gimmick, with the AGP only interested in raking up issues for media publicity."
The chief minister said ministers or other Congress leaders directly or indirectly involved in corruption charges would be denied party tickets to contest the upcoming assembly elections.
"Our stand is very clear and we shall not give tickets to anyone accused of corruption and we expect the AGP to adopt a similar stand," Gogoi said.