The Congress party and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Tuesday demanded the resignation of Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju for his alleged involvement in the Rs.450-crore hydro project scam in his home state, Arunachal Pradesh.
Raising the demand, party leader Randeep Surjewala said: “The minister has no right to remain on his post. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who talks of transparency and honesty, should get this (Rijiju’s involvement in scam) investigated by an independent agency.
“Till that time, the prime minister should either dismiss the minister of state or ask for his resignation,” he said.
Surjewala also demanded a probe against all the senior officials associated with the project.
“Kiren Rijiju’s role in this issue is under a cloud of suspicion. So he should be sacked or asked to resign till probe is complete,” the Congress said.
Joining the opposition to Rijiju, AAP leader Ashish Khetan said, “This is a serious matter. Rijiju has no right to remain a minister after being exposed in this scam. He should immediately resign from his post”.
The AAP leader also urged Modi to order an independent probe into the alleged scam.
“We also request the Prime Minister to ensure that Rijiju and his family do not influence the probe,” he said.
However, Rijiju blatantly denied the allegations on Tuesday morning, calling it ‘fake news’ and ‘stories planted against me’. He also said that the Congress party should apologise to the nation for allegations against him.
“This is shameful, who has planted this news? Those who are planning these news, if they come where we are (Arunachal Pradesh), they will get hit with slippers. Is it called corruption if we are trying to serve the people?” said Rijiju.
According to the report published by a daily newspaper, the Chief Vigilance Officer of the North Eastern Electric Power Corporation (NEEPCO) has alleged that the Union Minister and his cousin Goboi Rijiju, along with several top officials, are involved in a multi-crore scam in the construction of two dams in Arunachal Pradesh.
Rijiju slammed the newspaper for “planting” the story and said if they visit Arunachal Pradesh, they will be “thrashed with shoes”.
The newspaper claimed that he had written letters to clear payments of the contractors in the construction of two dams for the 600MW Kameng Hydro Electric Project in the states.
(With inputs from agencies)