SIT: Sikkim CM, kin in multi-crore property scam
Siddhartha Gautam / CNN-IBN
TimePublished on Wed, Apr 09, 2008 at 20:16, Updated at Wed, Apr 09, 2008 in Nation section
Gangtok: A Rs 4 crore complex in Gangtok's Main Market, a Rs 1 crore building in Namchi, a palace in the hills of south Sikkim — these are just three of the many assets CNN-IBN's Special Investigation Team have discovered belonging to relatives of Sikkim's Chief Minister, Pawan Kumar Chamling.
A seven-storeyed hotel in Gangtok is owned by Chamling's sister-in-law, Puspa Lata, a showroom is owned by his younger son Bijay, and a restaurant is the property of by his elder son Bikash.
In 2003, Chamling had told the Election Commission he only owned assets worth a little over Rs 2 crore.
So the question is: Where is the money coming from for his flats, buildings, showrooms and hotels that have sprung up across Sikkim?
BJP Party President, Sikkim, H R Pradhan says, "The interesting thing is that he has got property in the name of his first wife, his second wife, himself and his children."
When the SIT asked Chamling for an interview to explain his assets, he accepted at first.
CNN-IBN SIT: "We need just ten minutes with you."
Chamling: "Yes, sure."
But after CNN-IBN's cameras were switched off, Chamling told his bodyguards to keep the team away.
Chamling has been Chief Minister of Sikkim for 14 years during which he has been frequently accused of corruption by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India.
The latest CAG reports — released last month — says Sikkim lost over Rs 375 crore due to corruption just last year. But with 31 of Sikkim's 32 MLAs supporting Chamling, the state's Public Accounts Committee (PAC), has virtually ignored the CAG reports.
Spokesperson, Sikkim government, C B Karki says, "The CAG has filed a report, now it will go to the PAC and the PAC will look into this."
Even inquiry commissions set up by Chamling himself accuse him of...