GUWAHATI: An ex-Congress MP and former Union Minister of State, found herself in the hot seat after the Chief Minister’s Special Vigilance Cell questioned her for nearly six hours over an alleged tube-well scam involving Rs 1 crore on Tuesday.
Ranee Narah, along with her husband, Bharat Narah, an MLA and ex-state minister, who arrived at the Vigilance Cell’s office at 11 am, upon concluding her session at around 4:47 pm, told the press that she has addressed all inquiries from the investigating officers. “I’m confident in my responses, and I believe they found them satisfactory as well,” she said.
This probe traces back to when Narah served as the Union Minister of State for Tribal Affairs in the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) regime between 2012 and 2014. It was alleged that Narah had mis appropriated funds meant for installation of hand pumps in Jorhat district during 2013-14. A complaint in 2017 had also pinpointed irregularities in Narah’s MPLAD scheme, based on a CAG report and further backed by the state Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC).
The controversies don’t end there. Additional allegations of land encroachment have also emerged against the Narah duo. Allegations suggest that the couple trespassed on public land to establish a tea estate, named “Ranee Narah”.
Manab Deka, a BJP MLA representing Lakhimpur, has vociferously claimed that the Narah duo not only encroached upon government land but also evicted flood-affected families who had taken refuge on the said property.
“Post their unlawful entry onto government land and subsequent eviction of several landless farmers, Bharat and Ranee Narah initiated their tea estate venture,” the press quoted him as saying.
Deka also pointed out that during Bharat Narah’s tenure as a minister, the couple had applied for possession of 128 bighas of land through the Mission Vasundhara portal. He further alleged that a part of Bharat Narah’s residential property in Boginadi is on government land, which the couple has illicitly claimed.