Meghalaya IRS scam: CM lashes out at Mukul for "resorting to personal attacks"



Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma on Saturday lashed out at the Leader of Opposition (LO), Dr Mukul Sangma for “resorting to personal attacks” vis-a-vis the 2017 Internal Revenue Service (IRS) scam, where the LO alleged the involvement of SS Netcom, a company co-owned by the family of the Chief Minister.

“The entire process of allegations being made reflects a deep sense of desperation on the part of (the) LO. It looks like they are running out of issues related to governance and, now they are resorting to personal attacks at a family level,” the chief minister told media persons.

The LO had, on Friday, accused the Meghalaya Chief Minister and his brother, James, of tampering evidence and derailing the investigation into the 2017 IRS scam.

Conrad rubbished the allegations stating that investigation into the 2017 case went on for two years even after the formation of a new government led by the National People's Party (NPP).


Also Read: Meghalaya: Opposition accuses CM, Power Minister of derailing investigation into 2017 IRS scam

"If we had tried to interfere with the investigation, as alleged, then the transfer of officers would have been made immediately when we came to power. They were allowed to do the investigation for almost a year without any kind of interruption from anybody," added the chief minister.

Hitting out at the LO over the “suspicious transfer of officers” statement, the chief minister referred to the 2016 prostitution racket at Marvelene Inn, a guest house that was owned by the then Home Minister in the Congress government.

“At that time, within one month, the concerned investigating officer was transferred for whatever reason and if that is not interference in the investigation, then what is?” he questioned.

Conrad reacts to allegations on training youth to engage in criminal activities

The Leader of Opposition and former Chief Minister, Dr Mukul Sangma, on Friday, alleged that SS Netcom had recruited some job seekers for IT services from Shillong and various parts of the Northeast and sent them for training in Ahmedabad under a fake company called Irfan Faizal and Amit (IFA). According to him, the IFA was rented out by SS Netcom, and they trained the youth to engage in criminal activities.


Also Read: Meghalaya Police bust gang of International fraudsters from Shillong

Reacting to this, Conrad explained that SS Netcom was a company that was into the call centre business. It was the first call centre in the Northeast that services to clients like Airtel, Aircel and Idea. But as the call centre business became more competitive, SS Netcom decided not to continue with the business because the rates were not feasible.

“At that time, investments had been made in the call centre and therefore, to get the return back, the company decided that it should be leased out. Since it was a plug and play model, more than eight to nine companies came, rented the place and left. Even now, the premises are being rented out to different agencies that are running the call centre outlets. So, this had nothing to do with SS Netcom. It was simply the premises, that had been invested in, which was leased out,” the chief minister said.

He also clarified that SS Netcom had followed the procedures required to rent out the place like procurement of the No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the District Council, Superintendent of Police and the Rangbah Shnong or the Headman.

To a question on the delay in holding the State Security Commission (SSC) meeting, Conrad admitted that the government was unable to call the meeting because of the COVID-19 situation and many other situations that took place in the state before that.

“The SSC, of course, requires us to call for a meeting regularly but it’s not like it has been done regularly earlier. When the situation improves, we will make sure it is being done regularly,” he added.

(Edited by Ibankyntiew Mawrie)


Also Read: Meghalaya: MeECL being used as a milch cow, says Mukul Sangma