Schools let off the hook, UP minister faces bribe charge

 Close on the heels of allegations of the state’s Mining Minister Gayatri Prasad Prajapati amassing huge wealth through corrupt deals, another minister in the Akhilesh Yadav cabinet has been accused of taking bribes to make blacklisted schools and colleges centres for the forthcoming UP board examinations.

A complaint has been filed with the state Lokayukta Justice (Retd) N K Mehrotra against Minister for Secondary Education Mehboob Ali accusing him of taking bribes from the managements of schools and colleges, which had been blacklisted after allegations of mass copying there in the past examination, to allow them to become centres again this year.

The complaint has been filed by the manager of a school in UP’s Hardoi district, about 125 kilometres from here.

The complainant alleged that the minister had granted recognition to the schools which did not have even enough rooms to conduct classes.

“Lakh of ruppes had been paid by such schools to get recognition,” said complainant Bhagat Tejgiri.

He also alleged that the minister was patronising the nakal mafia, the organised gangs, which facilitate use of unfair means during the board examinations.

Just a few days back, a senior official in the Secondary Education Department, who had taken on the mafia and blacklisted several schools and colleges infamous for mass copying, was removed from his post and transferred elsewhere.

The Lokayukta said he was looking into the complaint. The minister said he was ready for any probe and claimed innocence.

Recently, a complaint had been filed with the Lokayukta alleging that Prajapati’s assets had grown a whopping 500 times since joining the state cabinet around two and a half years back.

The complaint, which was being investigated by the Lokayukta, claimed that Prajapati had properties worth Rs 1.81 crore when he had contested the Assembly polls in 2012 from Amethi Assembly seat.

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