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Controversy over Uttaranchal Governor's NGO gains momentum

Written by: Staff

Dehradun, May 14 (UNI) Controversy over Uttaranchal Governor Sudarshan Agarwal and his NGO Him Jyoti Foundation is gaining momentum with each passing day even after his resignation from its Chairmanship.

It was the Left front that demanded his removal from the presidential post of his NGO and now ruling congress MLA has sought his resignation from his constitutional post of Governor on moral ground.

MLA from Almora Pradip Tamta looking askance at the way Mr.

Agarwal resigned from NGO's Chairmanship following controversy, told reporters on Saturday the proper norms were not followed. Further taking strong exception to Mr. Agarwal handing over charge to a retired IAS officer soon after his resignation, he said ''The resignation was supposed to be forwarded to the Board of NGO and Board should have nominated new President''. Mr. Tamta added the present scenario confirms that Mr Agarwal would continue to have indirect monopoly in the Foundation and should resign from his constitutional post as well on moral ground. Demanding to make public the break down of work carried out by the foundation, the MLA has sought that the Administrative Reform Commission investigate the connection between the NGO and bureaucrats.

It may be recalled that few days back CPI(M), CPI, CPI(ML) along with regional political party Uttarakhand Kranti Dal shot off a letter to the President of India seeking Mr. Agarwal's removal from Chairmanship of his foundation alleging constitutional impropriety.

Allegation was made that the Governor taking advantage of his post has been raising fund from corporate houses and other social organisations like ONGC that has reportedly donated more than Rs 41 lakh and Swami Ramdev's Divya Yog Mandir Trust(Rs. 25 lakhs) besides Punjab National Bank,GAIL,State Bank of India, Central Bank of India,BHEL, Oriental Bank of India and state departments like Uttaranchal Tourism Board, Uttaranchal Power Corporation and so on.

Meanwhile Him Jyoti Foundation sources admitting fund accumulation of total Rs. 7.7 crore as donation from various sources till date revealed that out of that, Rs. 5 crore was invested in RBI bonds and Rs. 1.5 crore was invested in short term deposit in a nationalised bank in high interest rate and claimed to have regular yearly audit of its budget. The foundation set up by Governor Sudarshan Agarwal himself in 2003 to provide financial assistance to the underpriviledged children for their education has till now disbursed around Rs 31 lakh under its scholarship program and Rs. 75 lakh under financial assistance in last three years. Besides the Foundation is regularly providing scholarship of Rs. 25,000 per year to 67 students belonging to economically weaker sections of the society. The foundation has also donated Rs. 30 lakhs for education of 167 Tsunami affected children from various places. So far no allegation has been levelled against the governor for any financial anomalies by any party except that Mr. Agarwal was misusing his post for fund raising and was running his NGO from Governor house which wass looked upon as unconstitutional, hence the turmoil and controversy.


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