Uttarakhand Congress has received fresh jolts with a leader, involved in the membership drive during the 2017 state Assembly elections, accusing the party of abandoning him in crises situation. Surender Ranghar, who served as state general secretary and in-charge of membership campaign committee, is in trouble due to an inquiry by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) in the Rs 300 crore National Highway-74 scam. Many beneficiaries of the NH-74 scam, provided election fund to the Congress.
In a letter sent to Uttarakhand Congress chief Pritam Singh, the leader has expressed pain over the culture of the party. Surender Ranghar says, “After the opposition party raised the issue of Congress bank account, I asked for help from responsible person of Congress. All deserted me alone. Media reports claim that the SIT can quiz me and can also arrest me. But the party is not coming forward to help me.”
Uttarakhand Congress had authorized Ranghar and Kamal Rawat to operate the bank account and issue cheques. “I was signing the cheques on instruction from Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat and have no information about the funds received by the party. I am in deep stress with my party not supporting me,” Sudendra states in his letter.
The investigation in the NH-74 scam is moving at a smooth pace and 18 persons have been arrested so far. Selected individuals were provided high compensation by showing their agriculture land as commercial.
Over Rs 5 Crore was transferred into Congress account by some NH beneficiaries. Very recently the Special Investigation Team of the Uttarakhand Police quizzed ex-Uttarakhand Congress president Kishore Upadhyaya. The SIT inquiry into NH-74 scam has created some discomfort for the Congress.
Uttarakhand chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat is satisfied with the speed of the progress and claims that they are fighting an open battle against corruption. CM Trivendra Rawat says, “We are committed to end corruption.
Eighteen persons have been so far arrested in the National Highway-74 scam. The education department has suspended 20 teachers, who had taken the state government job by producing fake documents.”
The letter of Surender Ranghar forced the ex-Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat to take responsibility of the bank account and transaction made. Harish Rawat said, “Yes I was in the election campaign committee and if anybody wants any information should contact me.”
The ex-chief minister was forced to clarify his stand after many Congress leaders joined hands to corner him. The Congress struggle has provided BJP some reasons to smile.