Bernard accuses John Leslee of fund misappropriation

Written by Meghalaya Times. Posted in Front Page

Staff Reporter
TURA, Aug 07: Former South Tura MLA and now contestant in the by-polls for the same seat, John Leslee K Sangma has been accused of massive misappropriation of funds meant to be distributed to beneficiaries under MLA schemes during his tenure as MLA of the constituency.
The allegations were made today by the former chairman of the now disbanded ANVC (B), Bernard N Marak who provided copies of RTIs that according to him showed little or no development work being done with only workers of the MLA benefitting from the MLA’s largesse.

“He siphoned public funds sanctioned through Special Urban Works Programs (SUWP) through his workers. The last 5 years were most prosperous year for Leslee’s workers because he sanctioned all works and supplies in his workers’ names,” Bernard alleged.
According to the RTI, a few names were repeatedly sanctioned huge amounts for supply of goods and to do the works. They did not involve the local development committees but sanctioned all works to his close aides.
“Most of the schemes were sanctioned to Augustine, Tom, Koruna and others are close aides of Leslee and they did not complete work as specified but surprisingly it was shown that the sanctioned work was completed in the RTI,” alleged Bernard.
“In my own locality, the cc roads are not completed. The community hall at Ranggira is hardly 15% completed but is marked completed. The community hall meant for Kongbe Ading was never constructed but shown as completed. A thorough investigation would unearth more misappropriation by former MLA and may turn out to be the biggest SUWP scam in South Tura,” he added.
On the matter of CGI sheets, Bernard said these never reached the poor and the supply was done mostly by the same workers of the former MLA.
“Some received single bundle instead of two. Similarly, chairs were to be supplied by the same people (100 each) but very few got 100 numbers. Above these, contingency funds for victims of natural calamities Rs 10 lakhs was sanctioned but the amount was not given to the victims even when the victims approached,” stated Bernard quoting the RTI report.
Another Rs 10 lakhs meant for sports was also question as there was nothing to show on the ground.
“Where did the money go and why were local committee not involved. Who is Augustine, Tom, Koruna, Lolita etc? There should be immediate investigation on misappropriation of SUWP fund as it is public money,” demanded Bernard.


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