BJP mulls legal battle against funds misuse

Armed with "valid documentary proof", the BJP's Manipur unit is consulting legal experts on filing a public interest litigation in Manipur High Court to seek a CBI inquiry into "misutilisation" of central funds meant for irrigation purposes by the Okram Ibobi Singh government.

By Our Special Correspondent in Imphal
  • Published 16.04.15
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 Manipur BJP president Th. Chaoba Singh

 

 

Imphal, April 15: Armed with "valid documentary proof", the BJP's Manipur unit is consulting legal experts on filing a public interest litigation in Manipur High Court to seek a CBI inquiry into "misutilisation" of central funds meant for irrigation purposes by the Okram Ibobi Singh government.

The BJP, which is struggling to dethrone the Congress government in the next Assembly elections in 2017, is collecting more official documents to completely arm itself for the "legal battle".

"We have collected enough documents relating to misuse of funds provided by the Centre under Accelerated Irrigation Benefits Programme by the state's minor irrigation department between 2005-06 and 2007-08. We have found many irregularities," state BJP president Thounaojam Chaoba Singh said today.

The BJP is expected to use these "serious irregularities" which amount to "swindling" of central funds by the Congress government in Manipur during campaigning for elections to the six autonomous district councils in the five hill districts slated for May 30.

At present, chief minister Ibobi Singh is the minister in charge of minor irrigation department.

N. Loken Singh, Congress MLA and arch rival of Chaoba Singh in the Nambol Assembly constituency, was the minister in charge of the department during the relevant period.

"The then government led by Ibobi Singh withdrew money to the tune of crores irregularly. To cite an example, in 2005-06 the government withdrew Rs 10 lakh for constructing a pick-up weir across the Waisel river in Nambol district. Again, it withdrew Rs 29.64 lakh in 2007-08 for the same work programme of the same project without executing any work," Chaoba Singh said.

He said this was only one example of funds being withdrawn twice or more for the same work. The irregularity runs into crores and the issue is very serious, he added.

"We will file the petition this month. We cannot remain silent spectators to siphoning of development funds. We have chosen the legal course because we believe the process of inquiry will be speedy if the court intervenes. We are even prepared to approach the Supreme Court on the matter if the legal process is slow in the high court," Chaoba Singh said.

Manipur BJP leaders are expected to discuss the issue during BJP president Amit Shah's visit to the state later this month. Shah is scheduled to arrive in Imphal on April 18 to oversee the party's organisational work in the state in view of the district council elections. He will address a public rally in Imphal during his stay in the city.

The BJP is preparing to contest all the 144 district council seats. The last date for submission of applications for BJP ticket is April 22.