Cong stages walkout from assembly over corruption, inaction

Bhopal: ​Madhya Pradesh Congress staged a walkout in the assembly, on Friday accusing the government for shielding corrupt officials despite a complaint in Lokayukta. Though the government has ordered a departmental inquiry into misappropriation of funds to the tune of Rs 68 crore but, a serious action against the corrupt official is yet to come.
Raising the matter during call attention motion, Congress MLA from Ganj Basoda (Vidisha district), Nishank Kumar Jain said additional director of tibral development department Surendra Singh Bhandari was arrested by police and released on bail under Section 306, 34 IPC, in February this year.
“The officer was involved in a case relating to abetting to suicide and fraudulent activities in the department. A complaint was also registered in the Lokayukta (special establishment police) as the officer was also found involved in driver recruitment scam. But, the government is yet to suspend him,” alleged Jain.
Replying to the queries, minister of state (MoS) for tribal development and general administration department (GAD), Lal Singh Arya said government had submitted a challan against Bhandari on April 14, 2014. However, the MP High Court Jabalpur stayed the action.
“The government has also ordered a departmental inquiry against Bhandari for his alleged involvement in Rs 68 crore fraud and slapped him a notice to reply within 15 days. Also, the moment court vacates the stay, the government will order his suspension,” assured Arya.
​Rejecting government’s reply, Congress MLA said that the minister must table the stay order, if any, issued by the High Court. Complaints against Bhandari were pending since 2010 and as per the service rule departmental inquiry must be over within one year.
“There seem to be some lapse on the part of the government in pursuing the matter or the government must disclose reasons for not taking action against the officer in question,” Jain alleged.
He further said, “The matter was exposed when erroneously, the officer transferred Rs 70 lakh to the bank account of a peon and a clerk in the department. The two employees reported the matter to the higher authorities who orders an inquiry. The entire fraud case was referred to the chief secretary too who took a serious note and instructed to immediately register a case against Bhandari. But, to no avail”, alleged Jain.
During the debate, the opposition and treasury benches blamed each other for corruption. The BJP MLAs alleged that Congress was making mountain out of a molehill while, Congress continued its attack on the minister and the department for shielding corrupt officials.
During the verbal spat, Speaker Sitasaran Sharma asked the Congress members to wait further two months for departmental action in the matter as the government had already suspended seven persons involved in the fraud. But, Congress members did not relent and reiterated their demand for the suspension of Bhandari.
Leader of opposition Ajay Singh said the matter related to corruption is pending since last seven years. “We suspect government intention in controlling corruption. We are not satisfied with the reply given by the minister in the house so, we boycott the proceedings,” Singh said.
The Congress members raised slogans and staged a walkout to protest against the government inaction and inappropriate reply.