The state unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has questioned the timing of the removal of the Lokayukta officials, which came soon after they had uncovered an alleged scam connected to the Chief Minister’s brother-in-law.
Three Lokayukta officials were sacked by the state government unceremoniously by WhatsApp in December. It was this trio who had unearthed an alleged scam worth crores of rupees. The state government justified the trio’s removal by stating that they were retired government officials and the Lokayukta rules require serving officials to hold the posts.
“Yes the government had admitted that they had wrongly appointed retired government officials, which the Act does not allow,” BJP spokesperson Mariahom Kharkrang said. “We understand that. But the timing of their removal has led to many questions.”
Kharkrang, who took early retirement last year from the police, said that since the inception of the Lokayukta in Meghalaya it was led by a retired police officer and the person who was removed by the current government was also a retired police officer.
“But what is surprising is that once the chargesheet was submitted (into the alleged corruption) against some persons who are in power they (the investigators) were removed. I don’t want to comment more on it but only time will tell,” he said.
The party hopes that the removal of the officials will not stop the Lokayukta from chargesheeting others suspected of corruption.
“We hope that the current officials of the Lokayukta will do the right thing and if there is a need to chargesheet anyone who is in a prominent position they should do their duty,” Kharkrang said. “We don’t want a Lokayukta in name only. If there is a need to submit a chargesheet they should be brave to do so.”