GUWAHATI: Ahead of the elections, the BJP is facing an embarrassing situation in Assam over an alleged recruitment scam in the state government’s Department of Panchayat and Rural Development.

Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti advisor Akhil Gogoi has alleged that around 450 posts out of 886 vacancies were given to the relatives of BJP leaders and to candidates favoured by the governing party in the state. He said this was proven in documents given to him by sources inside the said department.

The recruitment results were announced in the first half of March. The KMSS, a peasants’ body has decided to move the courts against these alleged irregularities.

Gogoi, who is also an RTI activist said that the alleged scam had exposed the true character of the governing party which “wears a veil of anti-corruption.”

“Within the week we will be at the Gauhati High Court. We have already prepared the documents and other necessary stuff in this regard. Like the APSC job scam, the people involved in this job scam will be sent behind bars. It may take a little longer, but we are determined to see them get punishment,” Gogoi told The Citizen.

Gogoi has asked the Assam government to retrieve CCTV footage of the office rooms in the department between March 3 and 5, to ascertain who were the people that came to meet the top officials there before the results were declared.

“The room where the Optical Mark Recognition sheets are kept should be sealed. These will help nab the culprits. We hope the government doesn’t say that they don’t have the footage,” Gogoi said.

Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal had ordered a one-man inquiry by Additional Chief Secretary Jishnu Baruah to inquire into the whole episode and submit a report to the government, after opposition parties and various organisations including the All Assam Students’ Union put pressure on the government in this regard.

“The inquiry is just for name’s sake. It’s just to delay the process. The CM keeps on saying that they have zero tolerance against corruption, so what is this? The OMR sheets are not supposed to be public but I received one such OMR sheet by courier. No candidate is supposed to bring their OMR sheet out of the exam hall. But in this examination, it’s lawlessness,” said Gogoi.

Earlier, the Criminal Investigation Department had submitted its report on irregularities in the recruitment process conducted in May last year to fill vacant positions in the department. The CID report documented numerous irregularities in 18 examination centres across nine districts in the state.