Accusing BJP leader Smriti Irani of “financial malpractices’’ in spending her MPLAD funds, the Congress has demanded her resignation from the Union Cabinet.
The Congress has alleged that Irani, who is a Rajya Sabha member from Gujarat and has adopted Maghrol village in Anand district under the Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana(SAGY), has spent her MPLAD funds without inviting any tender.
“Smriti Irani illegally used her MPLAD fund in violation of the guidelines for their use. She and her staff insisted and coerced official into awarding contracts to one Sharda Majoor Kamdar Sahkari Mandli… so that funds could be easily misused and misappropriated and fraud goes unnoticed,” said state Congress president Amit Chhavda.
Chavda claimed that the matter was probed by the Anand district administration after which the Congress also filed a PIL in the High Court in July 2017. He said that the district administration found serious “malpractices’’. In his statement, Chavda quoted a “letter” by the Anand District Collector issued on February 2, 2018, ordering the Mandli to return back Rs 2.95 crore into the government treasury with 18 per cent interest on it, which comes to Rs 4.08 crore. According to Chavda, the Mandli has not deposited the money so far. “After revelations of financial malpractices, Irani has no right to continue as minister and she must resign immediately,” Chavda added.
State BJP chief Jitu Vaghani said the grant was approved by an MP and it was implemented by district administration.