BJP MLA wears 3 lakh watch, minister roams in 70 lakh car; no vigilance against them: Kamalakhya hits back
Opposition leaders in India have been complaining about the Government’s alleged misuse of agencies. The ED raids at residences of Congress leaders have made headlines every now and then. While Congress or Opposition at large, question the merit of these raids, the agencies have seldom come out empty handed.
Under the spotlight nowadays in Assam is North Karimganj MLA, Kamalakhya Dey Purkayastha. The Vigilance team of Government of Assam has put his investment in a tea estate under the scanner. The matter is under investigation and the North Karimganj MLA has come in public to say he has nothing to hide.
In fact, Purkayastha has questioned the integrity of the vigilance department. According to him, the team is cherry picking targets to serve BJP’s vendetta. In an interaction with Barak Bulletin, he has hit back at the Vigilance team. “While I am cooperating fully with the probe, I request them to probe the possession of Ministers and MLAs in ruling party,” he shares.
Edited Excerpts of the interaction;
You seem to be under extreme pressure. The vigilance cell’s probe can put you in more awkward situations in the coming days.
I have nothing to hide. I have welcomed the probe. The vigilance cell will find nothing against me. I have been transparent in the last 12 years of my tenure as an MLA. You can ask anybody in Karimganj. Everyone will give you the same answer.
But you have invested heavily in purchasing the Pramodnagar tea garden. According to some sources, you put at least Rs. 89 lakh into the tea garden.
First of all, I have not bought the tea garden. I have only acquired a share of the tea garden. The rest are with some of my friends and known people. I bought the share only after the laborers in the tea garden insisted on it a lot. They have already protested against the malicious attempt to defame in the name of buying the tea garden. Moreover, I don’t want to comment on the amount of money I invested there, as it is a matter of inquiry. I can only say that false narratives are being spread against me to malign my public image.
But the question is whether black money was involved in purchasing the tea garden or not.
I can say with full responsibility that I have the details of every penny invested there. The details have already been relayed to the vigilance cell. I have invested from my MLA salary, and I have even taken a loan from a relative. I live in my parents house. Apart from the share of the tea garden, I only have a small piece of land in my name, and its value is only Rs. 2 lakhs.
It has been alleged that your wife took on some huge contracts.
This is rubbish. A section has been deliberately involved in spreading false propaganda. My wife never had any contracts with any government department. Unlike our Chief Minister’s wife, she does not own any land.
You have accused Himanta Biswa Sarma’s wife, Riniki Bhuyan, of grabbing land.
The Honourable Chief Minister’s wife has bought lands worth many crores in the previous few years, and she is not going to stop. The CM’s family is obsessed with purchasing land. I have sent a letter to inquire about how much land this family owns in Assam now. I know there will be no reply to it, but one day the truth will definitely come out.
It has also been alleged that your brother’s wife received huge government contracts from the PHE department.
She got works worth Rs. 4 crores only in the last 9 years. This is the minimum amount. If you compare this with the development work undertaken in my constituency in the last nine years, people will be astonished. Most of the contractors with the PHE department were awarded a much higher number of contracts. Anyone can check the data with the concerned department.
Congress leader Debabrata Saikia said that the BJP is doing vendetta politics.
Look at the timing. When I raised the corruption issue of the Chief Minister’s family in the assembly, they initiated a vicious attempt to defame me. The same is true of other leaders too. If anybody speaks about the corruption issue with the Chief Minister, he will be threatened.
Himanta’s close aide, Pijush Hazarika, is being very critical about you. He alleged that you have a ‘dark’ past.
He can attack me on personal fronts, but I will not do that. I have come here from a very modest background, so I maintain dignity in public life. Mr. Pijush Hazarika is involved in running many syndicates across the state. His interest in Barak Valley is to collect money through syndicate-raj. Everybody knows these things. Even the BJP people are aware of all developments. But nobody dares speak against the Chief Minister and his associates.
But the Chief Minister has claimed many times to have run a corruption-free government in the state.
A BJP MLA wears Rolex watches that cost a minimum of Rs. 3 lakhs. A minister roams around in a car worth Rs. 70 lakh. The wife of a BJP minister uses a handbag that costs around Rs. 5 lakhs and makes reels on social media wearing night suits that cost at least Rs. 1.5 lakhs. Where from this money comes? I think the vigilance cell should also ask these questions.
Your brother and partners in purchasing the tea garden have been called to appear before the vigilance cell on Tuesday.
Yes. They will appear before the vigilance cell. Already, the documents sought by the officers have been produced. Everybody has been cooperating with the probe. I have already told you that there is nothing to hide. The Chief Minister can initiate 100 inquiries by the vigilance cell, but they will not find anything against me. I have not committed any corruption since I became the MLA.