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Maya aides 'pocketed' Rs 1,400 cr for memorials

Sanjay Pandey, Lucknow, May 20, 2013, DHNS: 1:21 IST

Lokayukta revelations may spell trouble for many Uttar Pradesh ex-officials

Former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati addresses a press conference in New Delhi on Thursday. PTI Photo
The state Lokayukta said on Monday that around Rs 1,400 crore had been pocketed by former ministers and officials in the construction of memorials during the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) regime.

The revelation may spell trouble for one of the close aides of BSP supremo Mayawati and a large number of Uttar Pradesh officials. The Lokayaukta's report, however, comes as a big relief to Mayawati as her name has not found mention in the irregularities.

Apparently not happy with the report, the Samajwadi party (SP) said the report would be reviewed by the government.

Lokayukta justice (Retd) N K Mehrotra, who submitted his report to Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, has recommended registration of first information reports (FIRs) against 199 people, including two former ministers and a present legislator.

Those against whom action has been recommended include former PWD minister and Mayawati’s close aide Naseemuddin Siddique and former UP minister Babu Singh Kushwaha, who is already in jail in connection with the multi-crore NRHM scam.

The Lokayukta has also recommended for registration of cases against 54 engineers and 37 accountants of the state-owned UP Nirman Nigam and five engineers of the Lucknow Development Authority.

He said he had sought seizure of their properties and their subsequent attachment if the charges against them were proved and they were convicted by the courts. Of the Rs 4,188 crore spent on buying stones and other items for the memorials, around 35 per cent had been siphoned off by the officials in connivance with the contractors and ministers. Several memorials after dalit icons and also of Mayawati had been built during the previous BSP regime in the state.

Earlier the state vigilance department had sought government clearance for prosecuting as many as nine ministers of the former ministers in Mayawati regime in the state.
Vigilance probe against Ranganath Mishra, Avadhpal Singh Yadav and Badshah Singh (former ministers) was almost complete.

``The probe has found that the allegations of corruption against all these are correct,” officials here said. The vigilance department has sought permission of the government to file charge sheet against them.

Besides the department has also sought government nod to register cases against former ministers Chandradeo Ram Yadav, Naseemuddin Siddique, Ramveer Upadhyay, Rakesh Dhar Tripathi and Babu Singh Kushwaha. Another former minister Ram Achal Rajbhar also faces the probability of arrest after the vigilance department registered a case against him and launched a probe, sources said.

All these former ministers have allegedly amassed wealth disproportionate to their known sources of income. Almost all of them allegedly owned hundreds of acres of land in different parts of the state, the officials said.

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