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Smriti Irani misused MPLAD funds, says Congress, demands her resignation

Smriti Irani misused MPLAD funds, says Congress, demands her resignation

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 14 Mar 2019, 06:38 pm

New Delhi, Mar 14 (UNI): Accusing Union textiles minister Smriti Irani of corruption in spending the MPLAD funds, the Congress party on Thursday demanded that she should be sacked from cabinet and an FIR be registered.

Citing No 4 2018 CAG report, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala and Gujarat MLA Shaktisinh Gohil questioned whether Prime Minister Narendra Modi had the courage to sack Irani immediately.

“The CAG implicated for making payment of Rs 5.93 crore from MPLAD funds, without tender, including fraudulent payment of Rs 84.53 lakh,” Surjewala said.

Surjewala said that the time had come to sack Irani and lodge an FIR against her for proper investigation under Section 13 (1) (d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 and different provisions of Indian Penal Code.

Quoting from the CAG report, Surjewala and Gohil said Irani had selected Anand as her nodal district for implementation of works under the MPLAD Scheme after she was elected to Rajya Sabha from Gujarat.

The leaders pointed out that initially, the MPLAD projects were being executed by Gujarat State Rural Development Co-operation (GSRDCL), but this co-operation was closed.

“Subsequently on instructions of the PA to Irani, the works were awarded to Shri Sharda Majdoor Kamdar Sahkari Mandli, Kheda. This was in complete derogation of MPLAD guidelines, particularly Clause 2.11,” the Congress spokesperson said.

Gohil said the selection of the implementing agency should be undertaken in accordance with the state government rule and guidelines applicable for the purpose.

Provided that for certain works in the central government ministries or organisations where the implementing agency has necessarily to be the concerned central government ministry or organisation, the same should be selected as the implementing agency.

“However, Ms Irani prohibited the selection of implementing agencies and this is a root cause of corruption,” he said.

Shri Sharda Majdoor Mandli was selected without any due procedure or agreement and purely on instructions of PA of Ms Irani, he added.

Furthering the allegation, Congress leaders said that Shri Sharda Majdoor Kamdar Sahkari Mandli, selected by Irani was supposed to be a co-operative society of construction labourers, but all the members belong to the BJP.

According to Congress leaders, in 2016, the Sharda Majoor Kamdar Mandli claimed Rs 45.20 lakh for the renovation of the same panchayat building for which amount was granted in the preceding year and the amount was sanctioned too.

The Mandli also claimed payment for several other works in nine villages including construction of protection walls in crematoriums, schools etc. But it was found that not a single brick had been laid at any of these places though funds had been disbursed to them, the Congress leaders said.

“An audit was carried out and the outcome clearly indicates that the fund which was allotted out of MPLAD grant of Ms Irani for carrying out several works for which the payment was made to Shri Sharda Majoor Kamdar Mandali, no such work was done by Shri Sharda Majoor Kamdar Mandli and no records related to any such work were made available to Gram Panchayat/ Nagar Palika," Surjewala said.

They also said the Anand district collector had written a letter dated June 20, 2017 to the Gujarat government pointing out the irregularities and the fraud being committed under the grants received under MPLAD.

They said Gujarat MLA Amit Chavda had filed a PIL in the Gujarat High Court demanding a probe against Irani.


 

Smriti Irani misused MPLAD funds, says Congress, demands her resignation

India Blooms News Service
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