Former Assam minister grilled by anti-corruption sleuths

Guwahati, Jan 20 (IANS) Sleuths of the anti-corruption department of Assam on Friday grilled former Social Welfare Minister Akon Bora for his alleged involvement in an over Rs 2,000 crore scam.

The scam was unearthed in November last year.

Bora was grilled for seven hours by officials of the anti-corruption department.

Based on directions of Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, the scam involving an amount of Rs 2,000 crore was unearthed last year and the Chief Minister has asked the department for a thorough probe into the allegations.

According to the allegations, the welfare department had made a fake entry of nine lakh children to drain out close to Rs 150 crore annually for 15 years and opened close to 400 fake Anganwadi Centres to siphon off crores of rupees under different schemes.

“They had called me for a probe about some allegation. I was the social welfare minister for six years and told them whatever they wanted to know during my tenure as the minister. I have assured them full cooperation,” said Bora after coming out of the office.

Apart from Bora, former Ministers Gautam Roy, Ajanta Neog and ex-Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi also held the charge of the social welfare department during the 15-year tenure of the Congress government in the state.

“We have been questioning a lot of people for their alleged involvement in the scam. So far we have grilled 22 people and many are likely to be called. At this moment we are not in a position to divulge anything,” said a senior official of the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption department.

Meanwhile, former Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said the state government is politically motivated to grill former minister Akon Bora and dared the government to institute similar probes in the education and health departments also.

“They should probe the health department. I ordered the health department to go for generic medicines when I was the Chief Minister,” Gogoi said.

“The Union Health Minister had also asked the department to go for generic medicines. However, the health minister did not pay heed. There should be a probe on how much money was wasted due to non-use of generic medicines,” he said.

–IANS

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