CORRUPTION .. Former CPIM minister under arrest for alleged corruption in PWD project in Tripura

AGARTALA: CPIM leader in Tripura and the party’s central committee member Badal Choudhury is under arrest in connection will alleged corruption of over Rs 200 crore in an over-600crore flyover construction project when he was state PWD minister. CPIM general secretary Sitaram Yechury was quick to denounce the arrest and said this was a politically motivated witch-hunt by the BJP government in the state.

Choudhury was booked by the police along with PWD former chief engineer Sunil Bhowmik and former chief secretary Yashpal Singh on October 13. Choudhury disappeared from the scene for some days after which he was admitted to a local hospital by his family, saying he suffered severe chest pain. The arrest was made after 9pm on Monday. Choudhury was PWD minister for ten years through two terms of the CPIM government led by Manik Sarkar. Sarkar, now leader of the Opposition in the state assembly, visited Choudhury in hospital. Bhowmik is already in police custody.

The flyover was constructed in the 2008-2009 period. Manik Sarkar and his governments were seen to be corruption-free until this flyover case cropped up.  Once the BJP grabbed power in the state in the last assembly polls in an unexpected political turn in what for long was a CPIM bastion,  skeletons began tumbling out of the cupboard. The CPIM central leadership is deeply embarrassed over the arrest of Choudhury, who was a prominent face in the party central committee. EI-NN


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