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Exclusive: 'High Command demanded Rs 25 crore for Andaman LG post in 2010'

Taking part in a special edition of Asianet News Dialogues, former Anna University Vice-Chancellor Professor E Balaguruswamy made some damning revelations. Watch the full video to hear.

Asianet News Dialogues with Former Anna University vice-chancellor E Balagurusamy
First Published Dec 26, 2022, 8:21 PM IST

Skeletons from the United Progressive Alliance government era are tumbling out of the closet once again, with a leading educationist claiming that a well-known political leader and son of a former minister had approached him and sought a bribe for a gubernatorial position in either Goa or Andaman and Nicobar.  

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This damning revelation was made by Professor E Balaguruswamy, former Vice Chancellor of Anna University, during a special edition of Asianet News Dialogues wherein he touched upon a range of subjects ranging from UPA-era corruption to brain drain to the need to restructure education in the country.

Watch the full interview here:

"When I was a member of the UPSC, normally, the Prime Minister's Office maintains a list of candidates. In 2010, Manmohan Singh was the Prime Minister, a Minister of State at the PM Office maintained a register with a list of people. Suddenly you cannot get people; they always keep a list of people who can be appointed as Governor. Whenever the vacancy came, they considered the list. So one fellow came to me a month before my (tenure as) UPSC membership was to end. He was a political fellow. He said, 'Sir, there is a Lieutenant Governor position vacant in Andaman and Nicobar, and your name is there is a list of probable. Will you accept it?' I told him that if the name is there and if they offer, I will accept it. He said, 'No sir, there is a small problem there. It is not so simple. The name is there, but it has to be approved by some other authority'. He said there is this amount that needs to be paid (Rs 25 crore as mentioned in Professor Balaguruswamy's autobiography 'Nermayin Payanam' or A Journey of Honesty). He openly said Rs 25 crore. For Goa governorship, he wanted Rs 10 crore," the educationist told Asianet News Network's Anoop Balachandran.

Asianet News Dialogues with Former Anna University vice-chancellor E Balagurusamy

When asked why the "bribe" for Lieutenant Governor posting in Andaman was higher than the governor posting in Goa, Professor Balaguruswamy said, "I asked him that question too. He said, 'Lieutenant Governor in Andaman and Nicobar is independent; there is no ministry. You are all-in-all. You have to approve and sanction all the projects. You have a lot of manoeuvrability in terms of managing funds. In Goa, CM is there. So there is not much there'. I asked him how do you expect me to pay when I have not even taken a salary for being vice-chancellor (of Anna University). He said, 'We have sponsors for you. If you say yes, he will pay Rs 5 crore to get your appointment. The moment you sign, you will get the remainder. I then asked him why someone should pay for me. To this, he said: 'Don't worry. When you become Governor there, you will have to help in getting some projects cleared'. I openly told him, 'Sorry, I would not even give you a cup of tea. You get out of my room'."

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When pressed for the name of the person who approached him, Professor Balaguruswamy merely mentioned that "he" is a well-known political leader and son of a former minister. 

On being asked whether it was done at the behest of the then PMO, he said: "Ahmad Patel was coordinating... All files used to go to them. See, during UPA-I and II, Manmohan Singh could not do anything independently without 'high command' approval. So when I asked them if Manmohan Singh could appoint me directly, they said, 'No sir, the file has gone to the high command, and there is the demand'."

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