SHILLONG, FEB 21: Leader of Opposition and former Chief Minister Mukul Sangma on Tuesday demanded immediate probe into an alleged land scam at Mawpdang involving financial discrepancies amounting to over Rs 140 crore.
“The MDA – which I will refer as Meghalaya Deceitful Alliance – has once again engaged in the modus operandi of looting the state through purchase of around 807 acres of land in Mawkhanu village of Mawpdang. The government had the middleman purchase the land, dupe the innocent landowners and villagers at the throwaway price of ₹45 per square feet, and then made a payment of ₹85 per square feet to the middleman,” Mukul told reporters.
“The rates were decided by the cabinet on the 4th October, 2021. The Minister-In-Charge for Urban Affairs piloted this proposal and (it was) appropriately approved by the Department of Revenue. All cabinet items are approved by the Chief Minister. Therefore, the documents show that the three persons – the CM, Revenue Minister, and Urban Affairs minister – have entered into a criminal conspiracy to rob the state of such a huge amount of money – Rs 140 crores – which could have been given to the innocent land owners,” he said.
The AITC legislature party leader alleged that there was an unholy nexus between the NPP-led MDA government and the middlemen of the state and demanded an immediate probe into the scam to ensure accountability from the corrupt MDA government for the gross misuse of the state’s resources.
Slamming the Conrad Sangma-led MDA government for robbing poor people of their lands, Mukul said that the Central government must take cognisance of the matter.
“While addressing an election rally, Union Home Minister Amit Shah went hammer and tongs alleging that the state is active in corruption. He referred Meghalaya as the number 1 corrupt state in the country. This has defamed the name of the state and its people. Corruption is not our way of life. Our people are not that greedy. I would urge him to take immediate cognisance of this alleged corruption. Let there be immediate investigation into this (massive land scam),” he said.
The Leader of Opposition also stated that the Meghalaya land scam is only an addition to the increasing instances of graft executed by the NPP-BJP government, including scams such as the Saubhagya scam, Smart Meter scam, and Assembly Dome Collapse scam.
“The kind of alleged corruption of this scale cannot happen without the patronage of the people in authority…Corruption is more crippling and deadlier than terrorism. There will be no more resources left for development or to create jobs. Through terrorism, people get affected but when you rob the state and cripple its economy, you are robbing every citizen and the future generations,” said Mukul.
The former chief minister said that as the main opposition party and as the only political alternative in the state, it was their duty to expose the corrupt, inept, and incompetent MDA government.
He also said that the government was answerable to the people for buying land at extremely inflated rates when the villagers had sold their ancestral property for half the amount.
“The land scam is reflective of what is going on in the state…We have seen how corruption has crippled various countries…I wanted to urge the people to come together and rescue the state from the hands of the people who are responsible for making us the infamous state for being number 1 in the corruption,” Mukul stated.