Chennai: The Opposition DMK on Wednesday dropped a bombshell on the Edappadi Palaniswami Government alleging that huge highway contracts had been given to various firms owned by the relatives of the Chief Minister.
While the DMK organising secretary R.S. Bharathi, MP, has given a detailed two-page complaint to the state directorate of vigilance and anti-corruption (DVAC) demanding "registration of a criminal case and investigation under the Prevention of Corruption Act", his party working president M.K.Stalin has threatened to move the courts for remedy if proper action is not taken on the petition to DVAC.
In a hard-hitting statement, Stalin has made a scathing attack on the state government accusing it of unprecedented corruption with the help of colluding bureaucracy and the collapse of transparency in the public contracts system.
In his complaint to the DVAC, with copy marked to the Vigilance Commissioner and Commissioner for Administrative Reforms at the Secretariat, Bharati referred to the project of the state highways department four-laning of the Oddanchatram-Dharapuram-Avinashipalayam of SH-37 from Km37-400 and 108-400, to be implemented under 'design-build-finance-operate, maintain&transfer' (DBFOMT) method. This was originally estimated at Rs.713.34 crore but was later revised to Rs.1,515 crore and given to a relative of the CM, whereas the World Bank funded project would cost no more than Rs.200 crore as per market norms, Bharati said in his complaint, which also lists out some names alleging close relationship with the CM.
The complaint also listed out some more major highway projects and demanded DVAC probe, alleging serious irregularities such as dissuading competitors from participating in the bids. "…in most of the bids there were only two bidders. This is not mere coincidence and needs a thorough investigation", said Bharati in his complaint.