Jharkhand Congress Minister Alamgir Alam resigns from post

Mr. Alam was arrested by ED in alleged tender scam and his resignation has come after three days of CM taking away all his portfolios

Updated - June 11, 2024 07:09 pm IST

Published - June 11, 2024 09:18 am IST - Patna

Jharkhand Minister Alamgir Alam being produced in a court in Ranchi. File.

Jharkhand Minister Alamgir Alam being produced in a court in Ranchi. File. | Photo Credit: PTI

Jharkhand leader Alamgir Alam, arrested in an alleged tender scam, resigned as a Cabinet Minister from the Champai Soren government. Mr. Alam on June 10 also resigned from the post of Congress legislative Party (CLP) in Jharkhand Assembly.

His resignation came after three days when Mr. Soren took all the ministerial posts from him and made him Minister without portfolio. Mr. Alam was handling four departments which included rural development, parliamentary affairs and rural works and panchayati raj.

On May 15, the Enforcement directorate (ED) had arrested Mr. Alam in the alleged money laundering case. Before his arrest on May 6, the ED had arrested Mr. Alam’s Officer on Special Duty (OSD) Sanjiv Kumar Lal and the latter’s domestic help after the seizure of more than ₹36 crore from a flat linked to them.

According to the petition filed in the PMLA (Prevention of Money Laundering Act) court, the ED revealed that Mr. Alam used to get 1.5% commission of every tender in his department. The ED had claimed in the petition that Virendra Ram, the then Chief Engineer of the Rural Development Department arrested on March 23, 2023 used to collect the commission of the tenders and passed it on to the Minister. Several assistant engineers of the department were involved in collecting and delivering the commission to Mr. Ram.

In the petition, the ED has also stated that the money recovered from premises linked to his OSD and domestic help belongs to Mr. Alam. Many documents, government papers and letters were from the house of domestic help.

The payment of commission was being carried out in an organised manner in which employees from lower level to top officials were part of it. It is believed that a large amount of cash has been exchanged and efforts are on to uncover the nexus.

He is not the first Congress leader in Jharkhand against whom the federal agencies have taken action. Earlier, the Income Tax (I-T) department had conducted raids at the places linked to the Odisha-based distillery group owned by the then Congress MP Dhiraj Sahu and recovered ₹350 crore in cash.

In March 2024 ED had also conducted raids at 17 locations linked to Congress MLA Amba Prasad in Jharkhand.

After his arrest, Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders have been demanding his removal from the cabinet. Even former Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren is already in jail in an alleged money laundering case.

He also resigned from the post of CLP and sent the letter to Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge. Jharkhand Congress Chief Rajesh Thakur told The Hindu, “Alamgir Alam has resigned from the post of Cabinet Minister and also from CLP post,”

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