SP netas get Lokayukta rap

SP netas get Lokayukta rap

Minister, three MLAs give funds to non-existent NGO

A UP minister and a senior Brahmin leader of the Samajwadi Party found himself in trouble after a revelation that he had given funds to a non-existent voluntary organisation from his Local Area Development Fund.

Minister of state for agriculture Manoj Pandey has now been summoned by UP Lokayukta Justice (retd) N K Mehrotra to explain the grant of funds.

Three other SP legislators also granted funds from their respective LADF to the same non-existent organisation. They too have been asked to present themselves before the Lokayukta and explain the matter, according to sources.

All the MLAs — Ramlal Akela, Devendra Pratap Singh and Surendra Vikram Singh — and Pandey represent different constituencies in Raebareli, and the organisation concerned was also based in the same district, sources said.

The organisation that received the money from these legislators and the minister had ceased to exist in 2011 after it was blacklisted by authorities, sources said.

According to the sources, the officials, who were associated with the allotment of work from LADF, knew that the organisation was earlier blacklisted and it did not exist officially, yet they did nothing to prevent the allotment.

According to sources, a fake government order stating that the organization may be allotted work from the fund, had also been issued, apparently with connivance of some officials. The Lokayukta has summoned a bureaucrat in this connection for explanation.

Officials in Raebareli claimed that the minister and the three MLAs had asked the authorities to allot work to the organization in question.

Incidentally, this is the first time that a minister in the SP government and three SP legislators had been summoned by the Lokayukta. The ombudsman had earlier recommended action against several ministers and MLAs during the previous Mayawati regime.

The present dispensation has taken action on many of the recommendations. It may, however, face embarrassment if it fails to act against its own minister and legislators.