The Budget Session of the Uttarakhand Assembly beginning on Thursday is likely to be a stormy affair as the opposition Congress is preparing to corner the government over its demand for a CBI probe into the multi-crore NH 74 scam. Leader of Opposition in the Uttarakhand Assembly Indira Hridayesh said the opposition will stage a dharna in the House if a CBI probe is not ordered into the scam and the state government does not lay the report of the then Kumaon commissioner on it in the assembly.
Accusing the Centre of mounting pressure on the state government for withdrawing its recommendation for a CBI probe, Hridayesh shared with the press contents of a letter by Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari to the Chief Minister in which he says how such an action will affect the morale of NHAI officials besides impeding progress of projects taken up by the authority in the state.
“All this shows that the Centre is unwilling to institute a CBI probe into the scam which is tantamount to depriving an elected government of its rights,” Hridayesh told reporters.
The Trivendra Singh Rawat government had recommended a CBI probe into the scam soon after being sworn in in March this year but the Centre is yet to act on its recommendation.
Noting that NHAI officials named in the FIR in connection with the scam have gone to court and the Attorney General is defending them, Hridayesh said instead of bringing to book officials involved in the scam the Centre is out to “shield” them.
Announcing that the opposition will not take such a thing lying down, she said the issue will be raised vehemently in the House.
State BJP president Ajay Bhatt said the hue and cry being raised by the Congress over the issue is unnecessary.
“The 90-day time the CBI has to begin its investigation into the irregularities is still on and there is no need to despair,” he told reporters.
The Rawat government is also set to table and pass the Lokayukta bill during the session in keeping with a major commitment made in its vision document for the assembly polls in the state this year.
The Lokayukta bill, which was part of our vision document, will be introduced and passed by the House during the session beginning tomorrow, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prakash Pant said.
The Lokayukta bill had been referred to a standing committee of the state assembly during its last session which has almost finalised its report, he said.