Days after Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das rebuffed allegations of corruption and scam during his tenure, his cabinet minister-turned-political adversary Saryu Roy doubled down on his charges on Friday and claimed to have proof of the Chief Minister's involvement in an illegal mining scam in the state.
"I have proof that from April 1, 2017 to 31 December, 2017 iron ore was being illegally mined in Jharkhand in broad daylight. The chief minister was informed of the illegal mining beforehand," Mr Roy told NDTV.
Mr Roy alleged that after the mining, the Chief Minister ordered that an authorization of transport (challan) be issued to the company involved. The authorisation is normally issued by the district mining officer, who then refused saying the mining was illegal, Mr Roy claimed.
Mr Roy made a series of allegations on Friday, days after calling the Chief Minister, Raghubar daag (stained/corrupted). Mr Das insisted that he is Raghubar be-daag (stainless) and that his tenure has been scam-free.
Apart from illegal mining, Saryu Roy also alleged corruption in Mr Das's dealing with consultancy firm Meinhardt, during his tenure as the Jharkhand's Urban Development Minister. He accused Mr Das of tenure manipulation and claimed that because of his dealing, Ranchi continues to suffer till date.
Meinhardt offered PMC (Project Management Consultant) services to Ranchi Municipal Corporation for construction of sewerage and drainage system in the city.
Saryu Roy one of the most prominent faces of the BJP in Jharkhand, is contesting against Chief Minister Raghubar Das after being denied a party ticket.
The Chief Minister's move to deny Mr Roy a ticket and offer several to corruption accused leaders who have recently joined the BJP is seen by opposition leaders as evidence that the BJP is no longer keen on its anti-corruption stance that was the theme of campaign in the 2014 election.
Asked about being denied a party ticket, Mr Roy asked: "Why don't they (BJP) tell people that whether or not the candidates they've given poll tickets to are accused of corruption".
"We have dozens of examples of corruption. I have met (BJP Chief) Amit Shah just once. In 2017, when I met PM Modi, I told him that I am ashamed to be in the state cabinet. He told me he will talk to Amit Shah. I told him (Amit Shah) everything," Mr Rai said.