The opposition Congress Party today alleged that the way the state government sacked the three Lokayukta officers indicates that those in power are deeply involved in the alleged scam related to the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council (GHADC).
The state government is facing increasing flak from its decision last month to sack three officers soon after they unearthed a major alleged scam; one of the accused is a ruling party MLA and brother-in-law of the Chief Minister.
The opposition Voice of the People Party (VPP) has launched public agitations over the sacking and has been demanding the reinstatement of the three officers. Now the Congress has also raised the matter, while yesterday the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which is a member of the governing coalition, also questioned the timing.
The state government’s line all through this has been that the three officers, being retired government officials, were not eligible to hold the posts in question as, according to the Lokayukta rules, the post holders should still be in service.
The three had been appointed only on a temporary basis given a shortage of suitably qualified officers, the CM said today, and the appointment of their replacements has been done according to laid down procedures.
The Chief Minister also provided a rather strange justification for the move – that the government would save money by appointing serving officials. The reasoning goes that retired officials would have to be paid for their work while serving officials would only be paid their usual salary. This is a strange justification as three officials are unlikely to stretch the exchequer, especially when the government has no trouble in accommodating its friends in numerous commissions, quangos and the like with expensive sinecures.