The Meghalaya government has had enough of TMC spokesperson Saket Gokhale’s barrage of allegations and plans to file a defamation suit against him.
This was informed by Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong today during a press conference here. Tynsong even went on to call Gokhale a “psycho”, adding that his intention is only to malign the state government.
Yesterday, in the latest of his series of accusations of large-scale corruption in the Meghalaya government, Gokhale claimed that there were irregularities to the tune of Rs 632 crore in the Meghalaya Ecotourism Infrastructure Development Project (MEIDP) headed by Commissioner and Secretary Vijay Kumar D, who holds the reins of several departments and state-owned companies.
The TMC spokesperson claimed that the corruption centres on Meghalayan Age, a government-owned company spearheaded by Kumar. Gokhale had alleged that Meghalayan Age, which is responsible for implementing a Rs 632 crore project funded through a loan from the New Development Bank, has not filed a single financial report since it was incorporated in 2020.
“This man keeps making such allegations about the functioning of the state government,” Tynsong said today. “This isn’t the first time but he keeps doing this now and then. I personally feel he has become like a psycho with due respect. He should substantiate the allegations that he is making but he is making such allegations knowing things from hearsay… Allegations made by the so-called national spokesperson are baseless and wrong and now we have no more patience. By tomorrow we will file a defamation case against him.”
Denying all the allegations made against the government, the Deputy CM clarified that all records are available and that even the tendering process has been done online, making it transparent.
He further clarified that the project cost for the MEIDP is around Rs 731 crore and is one of the many externally-aided projects (EAPs) in the state.
Out of the Rs 731 crore, the tender which has been allotted is for Rs 230 crore.
“The work allotted and orders to reach Rs 731 crore are in the pipeline where we have to go for tendering process depending on the projects under which department it falls. As of now only three departments who are implementing this project are funded by NDB, which are Sports, Tourism and PWD (Public Works Department),” Tynsong said.
Nine projects under the Tourism Department have been listed wherein four have already completed the tendering process. These projects are landscaping, building tourism amenities at Wards Lake, infrastructure and tourism facilities at Crinoline swimming pool, revamping the convention centre at Orchid Lake Resort, upgrading tourism amenities at Umiam Watersports Complex, redeveloping the viewing area at Nohkalikai waterfall, infrastructure at Chibragre Village Wangala festival venue, developing a heritage village and landscaping at Mawphlang and the David Scott Trail and an integrated hospitality and convention centre in Tura.