GUWAHATI: The Opposition Congress in Nagaland has launched a vitriolic attack on a minister here and demanded his resignation over his alleged involvement in a corruption case.
The party alleged that state Agriculture Minister Benjongliba Aier had “misused” his position as Mission Director of Horticulture Technology Mission, North-East, to misappropriate money to the tune of over `100 crore during 2007-2010.
Aier had resigned from the post last year, to contest the Assembly elections. He won the polls to eventually become a minister in the Democratic Alliance of Nagaland (DAN) Government. The minister found himself in a spot of bother, after searches were conducted at his official and private residences in Kohima last week, by the State Vigilance Commission (SVC) and the Anti-Corruption Cell.
The Congress demanded that Aier put in his papers, owning up moral responsibility. It lambasted Chief Minister T R Zeliang for allegedly “dithering” on the issue of Aier’s ouster and accused his party, the Naga People’s Front, which is a major DAN constituent, of always shielding and rewarding the corrupt.
“Perhaps, the raid at a minister’s official residence is the first of its kind in the state and with enough prima facie evidence available against him, it will test the strength and resolve of the SVC to uncover the whole truth and bring the guilty to book,” the PCC said in a statement.
The party reminded Aier that former Home Minister Imkong L Imchen had resigned, soon after getting caught with illegal arms and unaccounted cash, during the 2013 state polls.
Meanwhile, Aier dubbed the Congress’ outbursts as an act of political vendetta and said the raids carried out at his residences were designed “to create mistrust in the leadership”.