By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, Nov 14: Former Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi has yielded to the allegation that there were large-scale allegations of corruption in the Assam Public Service Commission (APSC) during the last Congress regime and that his government failed to pinpoint allegations. He, however, has made it a point that corruption still continuous in the autonomous body, and that the recent arrests have proved it beyond any doubt.
Addressing the press today on the corrupt practices in the APSC, Gogoi said: “There were allegations in the APSC during the Congress regime. Corruption in the APSC began since the tenure of TP Das as the chairman of the autonomous body. He was even issued a charge sheet. Who saved him at that time? He even came to us for Congress ticket. We, however, refused his request outright. He then made to the Assembly as an independent candidate.”
Gogoi continued: “There were also allegations against Rakesh Paul. We did order an inquiry into the alleged corruption. Then Additiol Chief Secretary Subash Chandra Das, who was known for his honesty, conducted the inquiry. He, however, failed to get anything tangible against Paul. I won’t say that there was no corruption in the APSC during my tenure as the chief minister. There might have been corrupt practices in the APSC in my tenure. If there was corruption in my days, I’ll own the responsibility. However, the government has been changed now. How come one dares to bribe during the present dispensation at Dispur? This amply means that still now there’s corruption in the APSC.”
Gogoi then shifted the topic, and expressed over the present plight of tea estate labourers in the State. The plight of tea estate labourers in Assam is pathetic. Ninety per cent of tea estate labourers in Assam are homeless. They live in the houses of tea companies. Even at the end part of my tenure, I thought of drawing a housing scheme for tea estate labourers. If Kerala can ensure hiked wage for tea estate labourers, why can’t Assam do it? My government did hike of the wage of tea estate labourers, but the Tea Estate Owners’ Association moved the Gauhati High Court and got wage the hike stayed. It is the duty of the present dispensation at Dispur to vacate the stay order. Had I been in power, I would have done that.”