File photo of Mukul Sangma

Leader of opposition in Meghalaya assembly, Mukul Sangma, on September 15 wrote to Governor Satya Pal Malik and demanded an independent inquiry over alleged misappropriation and siphoning-off of funds by Garo Hills Autonomous District Council (GHADC) meant for development of backward tribal areas and poor tribal residents.

The demand for an independent inquiry is significant in the wake of the BJP, which is a junior partner in the ruling National People’s Party (NPP)-led Meghalaya Democratic Alliance government has demanded for a CBI probe into the matter.

Seeking an immediate inquiry into the corruption, the former chief minister said unless it is done urgently the evidence of the crime would be destroyed.

“I have also reason to believe that the allegations have enough substance and express my apprehension, based on the inputs received, that a concerted effort is being put for destruction of the evidence of the alleged corruption by the people in authority which must be prevented immediately in the interest of the people of the state,” Sangma wrote in his letter.

Informing the governor that there have been also earlier media reports based on information made available by RTI activists of alleged corruption in GHADC, the veteran Congress leader said: “The allegations are serious in nature and revolve around alleged misappropriation and siphoning-off of crores of rupees from the developmental fund provided to GHADC for the development of backward tribal areas and for the welfare of our poor tribal residents.”

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“It is also irony that the fund released to the ADCs were based on our continuous and productive engagement with the concerned ministries, including the Ministry of Finance, Government of India, for providing special allocation of fund to the ADCs for development and welfare of the people in backward tribal areas in view of the fact that the 14th Finance Commission Recommendation did not cover ADCs for receiving of grant/award under the recommendation of the 14th Finance Commissions unlike for the Panchayati Raj institutions,” he mentioned in the letter.

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