North-East Democratic Alliance convenor and Assam health minister, Himanta Biswa Sarma on Wednesday that the Village Council Development Committee (VCDC) members took bribes from beneficiaries to provide them with houses under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana.

The minister was in Bengbari in the Udalguri district to address a public meeting ahead of the Bodo Territorial Council (BTC) polls.

The BTC polls are scheduled to take place in two phases on December 7 and 10.

Also read: BTC polls and verbal spat between Himanta Biswa Sarma, Hagrama Mahilary

Addressing the public Sarma said, “The job card beneficiaries do not have their cards in the Bodo belt and people who received houses under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana had to bribe VCDC members to get them.”

“We have witnessed the enthusiasm of the people for BJP in the Bodo belt, which bears testimony to the fact that our party will form the government in BTC,” he said.

The minister alleged that the ruling Bodoland People’s Front has failed to utilize the funds released by the Union and state governments for implementing various welfare schemes in the BTR.

A lot of the funds have been siphoned off by corrupt officials, he said.

He further alleged that the land rights of several communities have been snatched, rendering them voiceless and making them live like second class citizens in the Bodo belt.

He also promised to abolish the VCDC and introduce the panchayati raj system, where the representatives will be elected by the people.

Shajid Khan

Shajid Khan is Northeast Now Correspondent in Udalguri. He can be reached at: itsshajidkhan@gmail.com