With allegations of corruption against ministers and politicians dogging the state government, a special anticorruption judge directed the State Vigilance Organisation (SVO) to investigate graft charges against minister and senior Congress leader Taj Mohiuddin.
A resident of Jammu had filed a complaint with the anti-corruption judge for registering an FIR in alleged scams in departments of Public Health Engineering (PHE) and Irrigation and Flood Control during the tenure of Taj Mohiuddin.
The PHE department has been accused of purchasing substandard pipes above the market price and issuing contracts without proper tendering causing loss to the exchequer to the tune of crores of rupees.
The minister has also been accused of helping the then commissioner of PHE in diverting Rs18 crore to Doda district. The ex-commissioner is a Taj’s relative and is said to have political ambitions.
Allegations against Taj have come at a time when another state minister from congress has “resigned” over allegations that officials had helped his son cheat in the secondary school exam.
Taj Mohiuddin, a very influential politician is not facing such allegation for the first time. Previously, he was also accused of a scam involving gunny sacks and an expose about “illegally acquiring forestland in Sadew area in Shopian district”.
His colleague in the Congress party, former minister Abdul GaniVakil also levelled corruption charges against Mohiuddin. He refuted the allegations saying that he has been a “victim of inside intrigue to malign” his image as he is “disliked” by some people within Congress both in Srinagar as well as in New Delhi because he has been very vocal about the return of power projects.
PHE Minister, who brought in much touted water tax bill, has been vocal about the return of power projects from National Hydro Power Corporation (NHPC). He had even compared NHPC with notorious East India Company that enslaved India. However, there has been no success so for. In fact, he could not refute the claim of NHPC‘s chief executive officer in its second quarterly report of waving off of water taxes. Confusion still lies there.
Taj Mohiuddin has been considered very close to few quarters in National Conference, particularly Chief Minister Omar Abdullah. He was first among the Congressmen to make it clear that Omar Abdullah will get full term as a chief minister in coalition government.