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Did no wrong, accusers will be beaten up with shoes: Rijiju

Under attack over the alleged power projects scam in Arunachal Pradesh, Union Minister Kiren Rijiju today rejected allegations of wrongdoing.

Published: 13th December 2016 04:05 PM  |   Last Updated: 13th December 2016 09:56 PM   |  A+A-

Kiren Rijiju_PTI

Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju. | (File|PTI)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju on Tuesday refuted allegations of corruption levelled against him in connection with the power projects scam estimated to the tune of Rs 450 crore in Arunachal Pradesh and said those who planted such news “will be beaten with shoes”.
 
“People who planted the story will be beaten up with shoes when they will come to our area (hometown). Is helping people of my constituency corruption? This news is nothing but mischief,” a visibly upset Rijiju told reporters in North Block while reacting to Media reports that he had written a letter to Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal seeking clearance of bills related to the ongoing hydro-electric project in Arunachal Pradesh.
 
West Kameng district, the site for hydel power projects in Arunachal Pradesh, is Rijiju’s Parliamentary constituency.
 
On November 9, 2015,  Rijiju had written a letter to Power Minister Piyush Goyal enclosing a petition received by him from the people of Kameng.
 
“The grievance of locals is that initially they were getting their dues but after a while, payments have been stopped, perhaps on behest of CVO, NEEPCO. I would be grateful if you could kindly get this petition considered in your Ministry sympathetically on priority,” Rijiju wrote in his letter to Goyal.
 
Gujarat cadre IPS officer was then the CVO of NEEPCO that is an undertaking under the Union Power Ministry.
 
Replying to Rijiju’s letter, Goyal in his communication dated December 31, 2015, said, “For the month of June and July, 2015, M/s PEL (Patel Engineering Ltd.) submitted the bills for transportation of materials on 14th October, 2015. However, the supporting documents submitted against the bills were incomplete and therefore the payment could not be released to the Contractor. Pending reconciliation of documents, payment has already been released by the NEEPCO to the extent of 60 % of bill amount on 4th November, 2015 to M/s PEL for further disbursement to the local suppliers.”
 
According to reports, Rijiju along with his cousin, Goboi Rijiju, a contractor in Arunachal Pradesh, and several other officials of North Eastern Electrical Power Corporation (NEEPCO) including its chairman and managing director have been alleged for corruption in the construction of two dams for 600 MW Kameng project, one of the biggest hydro-electric projects in Arunachal Pradesh.
 
“I have written a letter to the power minister after I received petitions from people in my constituency regarding pending bills. I have done no wrong and this is no corruption,” Rijiju said.
 
Rijiju also distanced himself from Goboi.
 
“He is not related to me. I do not know him,” the minister said.
 
The 129-page report compiled by Verma, however, named Goboi as Rijiju’s cousin.  
 
The signatories of the petition to Rijiju, however, do not include name of Goboi Rijiju. Instead, a signatory of the petition is Goboi Miji.
 
In the evening, a defensive Rijiju tweeted copies of the representation he had received from local people and the letter he had written to Power Minister Piyush Goyal.
 
“Really cheap! This is the copy of representation I received and forwarding letter to power minister. Is it a corruption helping poor Tribals?,” he tweeted.
 
The Congress on Tuesday said Rijiju’s role in “Rs 450-crore scam” in Arunachal Pradesh was under cloud and demanded his removal immediately and asked for fair and free probe into the case.
 
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s claim of transparency is now under question. People are watching what action he takes in Arunachal scam,” a Congress spokesperson said.
 
“The Congress Party has made a wild allegation of corruption in the NEEPCO under Kameng Hydro Power Projects in Arunachal Pradesh. The entire contract works for the main project and for transportation of boulders were allotted when the Congress party was in power. The Congress party is incriminating itself by referring to any irregularities in these projects. Under Rahul Gandhi, Congress party and it's media department have scored many self goals and this is one of such instances,” the BJP said in a statement.
 
In November, 2015 the local MP and Union Minister (of State) for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju was approached by villagers from the project area who were engaged by the contractor for the transportation of boulders. These villagers submitted a memorandum requesting the local MP to help them in getting their rightful dues towards the works carried out by them for the project. The MP has forwarded the petition received from the affected villagers to the Ministry of Power for getting the matter examined. As a public representative, Kiren Rijiju intervened as a local MP to redress people’s grievances purely on merit, the BJP further asserted.
 
“The Chief Vigilance Officer (CVO) concerned, Satish Verma, who has made these baseless allegations against Mr. Kiren Rijiju has submitted these so called Vigilance reports after he has been removed from the post under the orders of the Central Vigilance Commission  (CVC) for misdemeanours and dereliction of duty. Satish Verma is a chargesheeted officer with a dubious track record and continues to work as a political fixer for the Congress party. The allegations made by the CVO against Kiren Rijiju are baseless, malafide and reinforce his shady past. The BJP categorically rejects these motivated allegations against Mr. Kiren Rijiju with the contempt they deserve, “ the BJP statement added.
 



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