GUWAHATI/MUMBAI: Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Monday said he would quit if his alleged involvement in the bribery scam related to the Louis Berger Guwahati water supply project were to be proved.
“I am the CM. So, naturally the files of various departments would come to me for approval. My approval of the Louis Berger files doesn’t mean that I was involved (in the scam). If my involvement were to be proved, I will quit,” he told reporters here. Stating that it was a case of bribery, Gogoi said the files had come to him and he had cleared them.
The CM has been under fire from the Opposition parties ever since the US Department of Justice’s (DoJ) recent disclosure that the New Jersey-based consulting firm Louis Berger would pay $17.1-million criminal penalty in the wake of the firm’s admission that it had paid bribes to bag government contracts in India, Vietnam, Indonesia and Kuwait between 1998-2010. The firm allegedly paid Rs 6.1 crore for two water projects in Guwahati and Goa.
Meanwhile,the Goa Police on Monday booked former Chief Minister Digambar Kamat in connection with the “disappearance of evidence” in the Louis Berger case. This charge is in addition to the various Sections of the PCA and criminal conspiracy in the case. The Goa Police Crime Branch are investigating the alleged pay offs by the US-based infrastructure giant to an Indian minister to bag the consultancy for water augmentation and sewerage project funded by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
The Section pertaining to disappearance of evidence was added in the FIR against Kamat after a senior official in JICA’s Goa office told police that the former CM had allegedly forced him to give wrong information about a crucial file, which was being scoured by the investigating officer.