Tara Bai, the sister of Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Bala Bachchan, has been accused of misappropriating public funds meant for constructing toilets, among other projects.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Barwani Zila Panchayat has issued notices to Tara Bai and Nargave, the former sarpanch and panchayat secretary of Vasava village respectively, instructing them to pay a sum of over Rs 4 lakh by today. Failure to comply would result in recovery proceedings and possible jail time, they were warned.
The present sarpanch, Babulal Solanki, had filed a written complaint in this regard three years ago. "When I took the charge of Vasava village in 2015, I found massive irregularities in the construction of toilets, a drain and a building in the area," he had told the Lokayukta in Indore recently.
Upon conducting a physical verification of the toilet project, a fact-finding team reportedly found that the construction was either not completed or only done partially despite the release of funds. The Home Minister and his family have denied the allegations.
"We did make the toilets. We will appeal because the complaint has no basis," said Tara Bai's husband Mishrilal Solanki. Bala Bachchan also said he will challenge the order issued against his elder sister.
Leader of the Opposition Gopal Bhargav termed the charges against Bala Chandran's family as "serious". "It's ironic that when the present Home Minister was a legislator, he used to raise a lot of questions on issues such as MNREGA," he recalled.
The order signed by Zila Panchayat CEO Ankit Asthana instructs Tara Bai and Nargave to deposit Rs 4.04 lakh in the account of the Rajpur district panchayat by today. As they have refused to comply, the administration is likely to initiate action against the two.