New Delhi, Oct 21: Accusing the BJP-led central government of being habitual in strangulating the institutions, the Congress on Saturday said that Comptroller Auditor General of India (CAG), which used to release reports independently under the UPA era, is now hardly publishing any reports.
Addressing a Press conference at the party headquarters here, Congress leader Pawan Khera said, “The CAG doesn’t come out with the reports under this (BJP) regime. We have seen only 14 reports in 2023. Some very startling brazen corruption charges came up on the projects like Bharatmala Project, Ayushman Bharat project and others.
He alleged that 10 years ago we saw how then CAG chief Vinod Rai would leak draft reports to the media and Ramlila Maidan would see activities. “And on the basis of those reports, they trapped the whole country by doing drama and the media called it a mass movement. All these charges of corruption were based on the CAG reports. All these reports and cases proved to be baseless in the last 10 years. The aim of these people was just to tarnish the clean image of then Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and defame the UPA government,” he said.
He also said that the same CAG which had brought out 55 reports earlier, is able to bring out reports with great difficulty in 2023.
“In Bharatmala Project, work worth Rs 1 was done for Rs 14. And one km road was measured in different ways to show that the work for four km of road was done. Scams of Ayushman scheme came to light, where lakhs of people were connected to the same mobile number. But nothing was shown in the media on the CAG report, no 'movement' was seen even in Ramlila Maidan,” he charged.
Targeting the government, Khera, who is also the Chairman of the Media and Publicity department of the party said, “That has resulted into more brazenness in the government because after the startling revelations in the reports, many officers were transferred.”
“The most shocking thing is that an e-mail was sent to the CAG, Mumbai office, in which it was said that all audit and field work should be stopped. That means Modi government is strangulating CAG in this way,” he claimed while showing the copy of the email.
He also named the three CAG officers who exposed the scams of Modi government and were later transferred.
He said that Atoorvo Sinha was in charge of the report of Bharatmala Project, he was sent from Delhi to Trivandrum. Similarly, Dattaprasad Shirsat was in charge of audit related to Ayushman Bharat scheme and he was sent to the legal cell.
Even Ashok Sinha, who had started the audit of Ayushman Bharat scheme was sent to other department.
Firing salvos at the BJP government, Khera said, “Our questions to Prime Minister Narendra Modi are that on whose orders was CAG ordered to stop all field work? Why were the CAG officers who exposed the scams transferred? And on whose instructions is CAG being strangled?”
He also said that if you use a bulldozer on an autonomous body, the opposition will not tolerate it at all.
To a question that the CAG has denied about sending a mail to the Mumbai office, he showed the copy and said that they should deny the email dated September 26 this year.