ITANAGAR: The Arunachal Against Corruption (AAC) has demanded Chief Minister Pema Khandu’s resignation on moral ground, to ensure free and fair investigation of the case filed against him and his family in the Supreme Court (SC).
AAC Spokesperson Birender Tallang, on Thursday, said that the AAC have been following up the issue from the day one, and also foot marched to the national capital, New Delhi. Now, finally the issue is being addressed by the SC. It’s high time that the CM morally resigns from the position to ensure free and fair investigation into the case.
He said, Khandu in his chair can’t ensure a free and fair investigation as the case is against his immediate family members. The AAC feels his interference in the case, holding the chair of CM. Therefore, the CM should resign.
Tallang said that irony is that, the CM who repeatedly out cries for zero corruption in public gatherings, has been preaching ‘nepotism’ by awarding large numbers of public contracts to his immediate families. Khandu is involved in being selective in his action in awarding contracts to his immediate family, and also shielding the corruption.
“We believe in the wisdom of SC that, though, the case may be delayed but justice will be served in the greater interest of our people,” he said, adding that the public should also be aware that the present CM is charged with a series of corruption cases and is not clean as claimed.
He also said that corruption has been prevailing since then CM Dorjee Khandu, the late father of present CM. And, since then, the present CM was an influential contractor under the firm, Brand Eagles.
Demand for the CMs resignation by the AAC came following the notice served to the CM Khandu by the bench of chief justice DY Chandrachud and Justice JB Pardiwala and Manoj Mishra on a plea filed by NGOs, Save Mon Region Federation (SMRF) and Voluntary Arunachal Sena (VAS).
SMRF and VAS in the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed in the SC, sought CBI and SIT probe into the award of contracts for public works to firms owned by family members of CM Khandu. The next hearing on the case is scheduled on February 2 and February 14.
The notice was also issued to the Union of India, state government of Arunachal Pradesh, the CBI, and others.
According to the plea, Pema Khandu’s father, Dorjee Khandu’s second wife, Rinchin Drema, and his nephew Tsering Tashi have been made parties in the case. It also claimed that Rinchin Drema’s firm, Brand Eagles, has been awarded a large number of government contracts despite there being a clear conflict of interest.
According to the plea filed by advocate Prashant Bhushan, the perusal of the list of contract works settled in favour of family firms, as annexed by the petitioners, shows that it was all done in arbitrary manner by selectively managing the tender in favour of the family firms, as the names of other firms was just cover up for the family firms. The other firms just lent their names to the family firm and got their commission for the same.
The petition said that works for flood damage restoration are allotted by the state’s relief & rehabilitation department. The minister of this department was Dorjee Khandu, also former CM, and then the charge was taken up by the present state CM and his son Pema Khandu.