The Manipur government has set up five Special Investigation Teams to examine controversial appointments in 15 government departments made shortly before the state assembly elections in March this year. Speaker Y. Khemchand announced on Friday that two Special Investigation Teams have been set up to examine the appointments of over 200 persons in the Assembly Secretariat. “The Imphal East Collector was asked to verify the OBC certificate issued by him in favour of the wife of then speaker (Thokchom Lokeswar). Her father was also a former elected member and, therefore, it is questionable whether she is entitled to an OBC status,” he said.
Chief Minister N. Biren Singh said the BJP-led government is not vindictive and is not trying to hunt irregularities of the previous Congress regime. “But the Election Commission had taken note of the controversial appointments. The SITs shall examine whether there were lapses and manipulations in the appointments,” he added. There had been allegations of serious irregularities in the appointment process.
According to BJP sources, cash for jobs is a little concealed practice in Manipur. Manipur BJP chief K. Bhabananda had earlier said his party will examine all appointments after forming the government in the state. “We urge the higher officials to keep the relevant documents intact since there shall be probes,” he had said ahead of the elections. “Once the BJP is in power, many skeletons shall tumble out of the cub board. Many powerful persons shall go to prison,” said former BJP President T. Chaoba.
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According to reports, some of the appointments were done after the announcement of the election schedule, when the model code was in place. The Election Commission had to direct some departments not to make the appointments. There is apprehension among hundreds of persons already appointed since it has become clear that their appointments are likely to be nullified.
The BJP-led government has started probing various “scams” of the previous Congress regime and some heads have already rolled.