No witch-hunt but all past corruption to be probed, says Uttarakhand CM | dehradun

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat Sunday vowed to end corruption in the hill state, saying “scams” that took place during the previous Congress government would be probed.

Rawat said there will be no “witch-hunt” but if any politician is found to be involved in corruption, a proper investigation will be carried out and action will be taken as per law.

“There is no political motive behind our decision to go against corruption. We want to end corruption in Uttarakhand. If any politician is found to be involved in corruption in the past, law will take its own course,” he told PTI in an interview.

The chief minister said the BJP government has decided to go after the liquor and mining mafia and illegal slaughter houses operating in the state.

Rawat said if any “scam” under the previous government comes to light, a proper investigation will be carried out and the guilty will be punished.

“We have zero tolerance towards corruption. But there will be no witch-hunt. Only proper investigation will be carried out to punish the guilty,” he said.

The Rawat government has claimed to have unearthed an alleged scam of ₹240 crore in the acquisition of land for a national highway.

“We have already handed over the probe to the CBI. Six officials allegedly involved in the scam have been suspended while legal action will be taken against the seventh who is retired,” he said.

Alleged irregularities were detected in the acquisition of farmland for the proposed NH-74 in Udham Singh Nagar district between 2011 and 2016.

Farmland was allegedly shown as non-agricultural land to increase the compensation amount by at least 20 times to benefit chosen stakeholders and beneficiaries, he said. Rawat was sworn-in as chief minister of Uttarakhand on

March 18 after BJP won 57 of the 70 assembly seats, ousting the Congress.

“We have completely stopped illegal mining and action is also being taken against liquor mafia. All illegal slaughter houses were also being shut down,” Rawat said.

The chief minister said in nine hill districts in Uttarakhand, liquor shops are now open for six hours as against 12 hours earlier.

Two per cent extra cess has been imposed on alcohol in the state and the money collected through it will be spent on welfare programmes for women, he said.