GUWAHATI, Feb 3 � The debate on the multi-crore rupee NC Hills Autonomous Council (NCHAC) scam today took a new turn today with Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi alleging that the Opposition is using the issue for misleading the people and thus to regain power in the State. He was speaking to the media persons after the Assembly was adjourned for the day this afternoon.
The Opposition has members in the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the Assembly and one of its members heads this committee as its Chairman. But mysteriously, this important committee is silent on the NC Hills scam issue, he said.
The Chief Minister also alleged that the Opposition is out to create a chaos in the State by pushing the Government to a point where it will become unable to pay the salaries of the employees and carry on developmental activities. He made an appeal to the Opposition to extend its cooperation to the Government in matters related to the salaries of the employees and expenditures on developmental works.
Asserting that the people will judge who is pro-people and who is corrupt, the Chief Minister dared the Opposition to lodge cases with the CBI against those whom they have found to be involved in the NCHAC scam. The Government has already handed over nine cases to the Central investigating agency and six more cases are being handed over to the agency for investigation in connection with the Hills Council scam, he said.
But the point is that the Government lacks of evidence in handing over some more cases to the CBI. If the Opposition has the proof to nail anyone, it should move the Central investigating agency. In that case, the State Government will request the CBI to accept the cases lodged by the Opposition leaders like Prafulla Kumar Mahanta and Chandra Mohan Patowary, said the Chief Minister.
Ridiculing the Opposition�s clamour for punishing those found guilty in the NC Hills scam, the Chief Minister said that the Government ordered inquiry into the scam in 2008 and now the Opposition is trying to hijack the credit for the revelation from the Government.
Opposition misled: Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that the entire Opposition is misled by the Leader of the Opposition Prafulla Kumar Mahanta. Describing the Leader of the Opposition as a �Nihilist�, the Health Minister who is also a spokesman of the Government, told media persons at a press conference that the Opposition under Mahanta is leading the State towards a financial anarchy.
For, Mahanta, being a former Finance Minister of the State knows it well that the vote on account and the supplementary demand proposals of the Government has two big benefits for the State employees� career promotion and payment of arrear amounts due to them owing to the pay scale revision.
Moreover, if the vote on account is not allowed to be passed no State Government employee will get salary from April next for four months thenceforth and one third of them will not get their March salary, said Sarma.
Claiming that nowhere in the country supplementary demands are blocked by the Opposition, the Minister said that unless the people of the State want, the Government would not go for eject the Opposition members from the Assembly to get the finance bills passed.
When asked as to why the vote on account and the supplementary demands are not sought to be passed in the ongoing pandemonium unlike the other Government proposals, he said that the Government is not willing to do that in view of the democratic tradition of the country. Even the political parties in the Parliament are allowing the finance-related matters to be passed considering their implications, he said.
However, if the Speaker wishes so, he may go for evicting the Opposition members, said the Minister.
He also dismissed the Opposition assertion that the RK Manisana Singh Commission has ever indicted Hill Areas Development Minister Kharsing Ingty as a baseless and anti-tribal statement.
The Manisana Singh Commission has instead indicted the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Autonomous State Demand Committee (ASDC) for their link with the militants. The Opposition is quite aware of this and hence it is avoiding a discussion on the issue, said the Minister.