States & UTs

    Ten Congress MLAs suspended from Gujarat Assembly for a day for sloganeering in House

    The Hawk
    February20/ 2024
    Last Updated:

    Opposition chaos in Gujarat Assembly as Congress alleges government cover-up in the 'Fake' government office scandal in Chhota Udepur.

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    Gandhinagar: Ten legislators from the opposition Congress were suspended from the Gujarat Assembly for a day on Tuesday following chaos and sloganeering over the issue of a 'fake' government office unearthed in Chhota Udepur district last year and siphoning off funds meant for irrigation projects.

    While the Congress's strength in the House is 15, five of its MLAs were absent at the time of chaos in the House.

    During question hour of the ongoing budget session, Congress MLA Tushar Chaudhary sought to know what action the government had taken against those who had opened a 'fake' government office in Chhota Udepur district and siphoned off government funds meant to carry out various irrigation projects in tribal areas.

    In a written reply, Tribal Development Minister Kuber Dindor said no such office was found during the last one year in Chhota Udepur district and thus no question arises about action to be taken.

    Enraged by the reply, Chaudhary claimed five such fake offices were found last year in the tribal-dominated Chhota Udepur district and the accused were also caught.

    He was referring to the arrest of two persons in October last year for allegedly securing Rs 4.16 crore in government grants by setting up a fake office of an executive engineer for irrigation projects in Chhota Udepur district.

    Later, former IAS officer BD Ninama, who took voluntary retirement in February last year, was arrested by Dahod district police for allegedly helping the other accused in carrying out the 'scam' and securing government grants worth Rs 18.59 crore under the 'Tribal Area Sub Plan'.

    When Congress MLA Amrutji Thakor sought to know how much funds were given to the accused, Dindor said his department had disbursed Rs 21 crore to the persons as they posed as genuine government officers.

    "This scam was busted by the state government itself and then it came in the media. We took suo motu action. We have lodged FIRs against the accused and also arrested five persons so far," the minister said.

    Since his oral answer was different from what was mentioned in the written reply, Congress MLAs started raising slogans against the BJP government, accusing it of concealing facts.

    Hitting back, Dindor said such scams were rampant during the past Congress governments.

    Taking strong exception, Chavda asked Dindor to come clean over the issue and own up the responsibility for it.

    When Congress MLAs did not calm down despite repeated requests by the speaker, state legislative and parliamentary affairs minister Rushikesh Patel slammed the Congress for the chaos and moved a motion to suspend all of them for the entire day, including the second sitting.

    As the opposition MLAs, led by Congress Legislature Party Leader Amit Chavda, refused to maintain decorum and sit at their respective places, speaker Shankar Chaudhary suspended them for a day after the ruling BJP moved a proposal for the same.

    Since there are two sittings of the House on Tuesday, the speaker clarified that these MLAs stand suspended for the second sitting too.