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Sarbanand Sonowal’s surgical strike on corrupt officials on anti-black money day

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In an overnight statewide operation, Assam Police arrested 15 senior government officers for fraudulently taking jobs in the Assam Public Service Commission. While some officers are on the run, those arrested are being presently kept in Guwahati for further investigation.

In what may be described as a tight slap on the face of those who had been branding him as a weak politician, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal once again proved that he is still a man of steel. The central force behind the scrapping off the controversial IMDT Act, has once again shown to the people that being modest is not being weak.

On the first anniversary of demonetization, observed across the country as Anti-Black Money Day, Assam showed the nation how to keep alive the fight against corruption, in a manner that has rocked the administrative machinery of the state and elated the public.

The Assam Police, under direction of the Chief Minister and following up on their previous investigation into the massive Cash-for-Job scandal within the Assam Public Service Commission (APSC), arrested 15 high ranking serving officials of the Assam Civil Service and Assam Police Service for obtaining jobs by fraudulent means. These officials were all given jobs during the tenure of the erstwhile Congress government in the State and belonged to the 2015 cadre of the elite State corps. The wee hours operation by the police follows arrest of APSC Chairman Rakesh Paul and three other officials during the previous few months.

Unearthed by the Dibrugarh branch of Assam Police, the Cash-for-Job scandal has been a major talking point in Assam with many more officers and even politicians expected to be named or arrested in the coming days as threads of the case gets unraveled with each passing day. The scale of the investigation and its ramifications are huge as it involved a statewide operation on some of the most powerful persons of Assam. This is evident by the immense airwaves generated by the operation and massive public scrutiny in the same.

The November 8 arrests also follows the previous day arrest of Director of the Information & Public Relations department, Ranjit Gogoi, for involvement in a multi crore advertisement scam which took place during end of the Congress tenure. Corruption, taken as a normal way of working by the Congress cannot be more easily exemplified by these incidents.

Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal is often quoted saying that the BJP led government of the State has a zero tolerance policy towards corruption. He says that even the CM will not be spared if found to indulge in corruption. Taking an approach that does not interfere in administrative matters or investigations, the CM has shown that under a determined and strong leadership, the State can come out of the morass it has been put into by many previous governments. This, also comes with huge pressure from many sources and a distinct threat of life to the Chief Minister as confirmed by security agencies.

When the nation led by the Prime Minister is on a new journey to define its political identity separate from the scam taints left by previous governments, this step by the Assam Government goes a long way in consolidating faith of the people on the deliverables of governance and a clean, transparent administrative machinery that seeks to work for the betterment of society.

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