Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Monday said there will be no compromise on corruption in Assam in keeping with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s fight against black money. “There will be no compromise on corruption. Stern action will be taken against anyone involved in taking black money. No impunity for anyone found taking bribe or indulging in corruptions,” warned Sonowal, while talking to reporters here.
“Even chief minister will not be spared if he is found indulging in corruption. No one can stop investigations to be conducted into corruption charges against even the most senior bureaucrat. The old days no longer exist,” asserted Sonowal when journalists asked if two senior IAS officials in the state were shielded from being investigated.
The chief minister said enquiries will continue and the officers of the Chief Minister’s Vigilance Cell have been asked to go ahead with submitting their reports after conducting investigations into corruption by government employees.
Pointing out that his government, in its first cabinet meeting, withdrew the practice of check gates to stop corruption so that people get good governance, the CM said, “the Assam Public Service Commission Chairman and two of its members were arrested in the cash-for-job scam and operations into other corrupt charges are also continuing”.
He accused the former Congress-led UPA government of failing to stop corruption in the country.
“During the last three years, the Prime Minister has created an environment for the poor to live with dignity by introducing Jan Dhan Yojana, Bet Bachao programme, besides schemes for farmers, widows and other deprived people.
“The Modi government is the one that works for the poor and for removing corruption”, Sonowal said.
Stating that a lot still needs to be done, Sonowal said that on November 8 last year when demonetisation was ushered in, BJP president Amit Shah had called for country-wide observation of Kala Dhan Birudhi Day (anti-black money day) and Assam will observe it so that corruption can not take place in the state”.
Informing that eight lakh bank accounts were opened in Assam, including the tea sector, during demonetisation, the CM said banks have been asked to look into reports of tea workers’ wages being paid by cash and not through their bank accounts.
On apprehension of Indian citizens’ names being left out from the National Register of Citizens (NRC) being updated presently, Sonowal said, “NRC is to give protection to genuine Indian citizens. Those trying to create division among people will be treated as going against the country”.
To reporters’ query on Assam’s land being given for Nagalim as part of the Centre’s accord with NSCN(I-M), the Chief Minister shot back, “one inch of Assam’s land will not be given. Assam’s territorial integrity will be maintained”.