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Many signatories still in dark about content of letter

Raj Bhavan scandal

SHILLONG: Many Raj Bhavan staff did not read the content of the letter lodged with the Prime Minister narrating the many anomalies carried out by former Governor V. Shanmuganathan.
Nearly 100 staff had written to the Prime Minister with copies to the President, Union Home Minister, Chief Minister, Chief Secretary and others about the misconduct of the Governor that ultimately resulted in his resignation.
A fourth grade employee on Tuesday said that she was compelled to sign the letter by one P. Lyngdoh, accountant at Raj Bhavan.
“We were asked by the accountant to sign the papers otherwise she said our files related to pay and other benefits will not move,” one of the signatories said while adding that it was under threat that she signed the papers.
The woman also added that she does not know the content of the letter as she was only asked to sign by the higher-ups.
According to the signatory, if there is an inquiry into the matter, she will tell the truth.
A few others have also echoed the same and added that the letter, which was written in English, was alien to them though they were the signatories.
The high-level officials are not signatories to the letter as it starts from Anamika Dutta, Comptroller of Household with accountants, chaparasis, gardeners, khalasis, laundrymen, electricians, cooks, stenos, typists and carpenters being part of the nearly 100 signatories.
After the swearing-in ceremony of the new Governor on Saturday, when asked, Dutta did not want to further comment on the matter.
To a query whether there is any evidence to prove the allegations, she only said that everything was there in the letter and now she wants to consider the episode as closed.
While a few lower level staff admitted of being signatories, they did not know the details of the letter, while many others moved away without giving any answer.
A source said that these staff were pushed to the fore by the senior officials who wanted to remain in the background. Though the number was mentioned as 100, two names were erased from the list and 10 staff did not sign, though their names were mentioned even as a thumb impression is also visible in the letter. The list also features over 30 persons who have not mentioned their designations.
Despite queries, senior Raj Bhavan officials are yet  to provide the total number of staff employed at the Governor’s House
Former Meghalaya Governor V Shanmuganathan had resigned on January 26 after nearly 100 members of his staff alleged in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi that he had “compromised the dignity” of the Governor’s House and turned it into a “young ladies’ club”.

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