Corruption scandals in recruitment tumbling out of cupboard in Uttarakhand govt.

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Corruption scandals in recruitment tumbling out of cupboard in Uttarakhand govt.


Dehradun , Aug 26

The scandals of corruption in the recruitments for various positions in the Uttarakhand state are tumbling out of the cupboard of the state government since the involvement of a ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader in a paper leak case of a recruitment examination conducted by Uttarakhand State Subordinate Services Commission (UKSSSC) came to light. The issue was raised in the state assembly by Bhuvan Kapri, Congress legislator from Khatima who had defeated Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami in the March 2022 state assembly polls. The probe in the case was entrusted to the Special Task Force (STF) which has already 22 persons including one Hakam Singh, a BJP leader and a  Zila panchayat member of Uttarakashi district, who is a the kingpin in the paper leak case.

After the UKSSSC paper leak scandal, another scandal of paper leak in the recruitment for  secretariat guards examination has surfaced  with Special Task Force (STF) of Uttarakhand police filing a FIR against six persons allegedly involved in the scandal at Raipur police station of Dehradun . It has come to light that the examination question paper was sold for Rs. Ten lakh each much before the actual examination took place. The STF stumbled upon this scandal while probing the UKSSSC examination leak and according to STF officials there is strong likelihood that Hakam Singh could possibly be involved in this scandal also.

While, the ruling BJP was still recovering from the shock of corruption scandals in recruitments and involvement of its’ leaders in it, Uttarakhand Congress President Karan Mahra exploded another bomb by alleging large scale favouritism in the recruitment in Uttarakhand Vidhan Sabha. He charged that complete favouritism took place in the recruitments of 129 persons  during the tenure of former Vidhan Sabha Speaker Prem Chand Aggarwal who is a cabinet minister in the present BJP government from 20017 to 2022. He said that the recruitment in Vidhan sabha since the creation of the state in 2000 has been a treachery with the unemployed youth of the state. He further said that 129 recruitment of near and dear ones of BJP party including ministers has completely exposed the ruling BJP.

Karan Mahra, President of Uttarakhand Congress party

Karan Mahra said that recruitment in Uttarakhand Vidhan Sabha over the years has made a mockery of the state which a debt of Rs 85,000 crore. He expressed his surprise that a small Vidhan sabha of Uttarakhand having only 70 legislators have more than 560 employees while the mother state of Uttar Pradesh having 400 legislators have only 543 employees.  Mahra said that near and dears one of BJP leaders including former state BJP president, wives of two OSDs of Chief Minister and personal staff of ministers have been recruited in the Vidhan Sabha.

Interestingly, since the formation of Uttarakhand state, the issue of recruitment in Vidhan Sabha had been contentious. Since the formation of state and Interim state assembly, almost all the speaker whether they belong to Congress or BJP, recruited their favourites including the family members, relatives of political big wigs or persons close to them.

The appearance of photos of alleged accused Hakam Singh with senior BJP leaders including present Chief Minister and a former Chief Minister, ministers and Director General of Police (DGP) has thoroughly embarrassed the state Uttarakhand government.

Interestingly,  corruption has become a way of life in the new state . Even before the state formally came into being in November 2000, there were allegations of bureaucrats indulging in corruption in declaring Dehradun as the interim capital of the state. It was the first scandal to rock Uttarakhand even before it was born. An inquiry was also initiated, but no one knows its outcome.

Several other scams surfaced thereafter. Many commissions were set up to look into alleged corrupt deals and irregularities committed during the regimes of both Congress and BJP. However, no action was ever taken against any bureaucrat or politician allegedly involved in these scams. Politicians had been using these probe panels against each other.

The first elected Congress government headed by veteran leader ND Tiwari from 2002 to 2007 faced allegations of corruption. Bureaucrats enjoyed unlimited powers and allegedly misused it. During the 2007 Assembly poll, the BJP promised to probe the alleged corrupt deals of the Congress regime. The successive BJP government appointed a commission to look into the 56 alleged scandals that took place during the previous Congress government headed by Tiwari. However, nothing concrete came out.

When the Congress again came to power in 2012, it started probing the alleged scandals that took place during the BJP rule. However, the inquiry reports also met the same fate. Even during the regime of Chief Minister Maj. Gen. BC Khanduri, who enjoyed a clean image, there were allegations against his government by his party leaders of working under the influence of a bureaucrat close to him.

It has been the bane of Uttarakhand that while babus enjoyed powers and did everything and whatever they wanted, the political leadership played second fiddle. There have been allegby bureaucrats.

In the history of Uttarakhand, action was taken against a lone bureaucrat in the ‘Patwari’ recruitment scam during the regime of ND Tiwari. Interestingly, even small-time babus who were jailed in various cases have been “accommodated” in their services. Another scandal which came to light was that of compensation amount for NH 74 in Uadham Singh Nagar district during the previous regime of Trivendra Singh Rawat in 2017. Few bureaucrats were charged but all of them have come out ‘clean’.

Indresh Maikhuri, secretary of Garhwal Unit of CPI (ML)

Indresh Maikhuri, secretary of the Garhwal unit of CPI (ML) who had written letters to Chief Minister as well as Director General of Police (DGP) has also demanded a probe in the recruitment in the Vidhan Sabha since the formation of the state.  He said that UCET examinations have not been held in the state since 2016 and educated youth are awaiting the conduct of UCET examinations. He said that it was interesting that the state government has advertised for post of lecturers in degree colleges but did not hold in UCET examinations a pre-requisite for appointment as lecturers.

Uttarakhand Congress Senior Vice-President Suryakant Dhasmana has demanded a probe by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in all the recruitments done during the time of BJP state government since 2017.

Since the formation of the separate state of Uttarakhand, there have been allegations that the state is allegedly being run by bureaucrats and the state political leadership is playing second fiddle.

Suryakant dhasmana, Senior Vice-president of Uttarakhand Congress.

The problem with Uttarakhand is that being a part of earlier Uttar Pradesh state, it has allegedly not only imbibed the corrupt work culture of the state but also inherited the corrupt bureaucracy from the mother state. While allegations and counter-allegations are levelled by the political classes against each other, there is not a murmur of protest against the wrongdoings of the bureaucrats in the state.

It is believed that most of the ministers are “inexperienced, incapable and handicapped by their lack of knowledge, and thus completely dependent on the bureaucrats.” While the political masters get just a pie, the bureaucrats who obliged them in the getting their works done, eat the whole cake.

At the time of formation of the state, there were allegations of misappropriation of funds by the officials involved in making preparations for the new state capital. An inquiry was instituted, but no action was taken against anyone. Due to alleged lack of strong political leadership, there is little hope for the common people of the state. The poor and marginal people from the hills have been migrating for the past more than a century and would continue to move due to variety of reasons. The politician-bureaucrat-contractor nexus would allegedly continue to rule the roost in future also.



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