Tuesday, May 21, 2013

MEMORIAL SCAM: Lokayukta Says Mayawati Aides Looted 1,400 cr

The Uttar Pradesh Lokayukta has found that more than 1,400 crore was ‘siphoned off ’ during construction of Dalit memorials by the previous government headed by BSP leader Mayawati.

Strangely, it gave a clean chit to her, while indicting her PWD minister Nassemuddin Siddiqui and mines minister Babu Singh Kushwaha, both of whom were then close to Mayawati. Mehrotra said that Siddiqui and Kushwaha were the main accused in the scam and recommended that an FIR be lodged against the two. He said that . 1,400 crore should be recovered from them. The report has recommended a probe against 199 others who were ‘clearly involved’ in the scam.

Lok Ayukta Justice (retd) NK Mehrotra in his report said that around . 4,188 crore was spent on the purchase and finishing of stones for the memorials and around 35% of it was siphoned off by politicians, bureaucrats, engineers, accountants and contractors.

Siddiqui continues to be BSP's national general secretary, whereas Kushwaha fell out with her over the NRHM scam, joined BJP and is currently in Dasna jail in cases related to the NRHM scam.

The Lok Ayukta report has been sent to Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav who will decide on the action to be taken, including lodging FIR's against Siddiqui and Kushwaha. Mayawati had during her regime from 2007-12 got several memorials constructed in Lucknow and Noida, which attracted widespread accusation of misuse of official funds. It became a poll issue and Mayawati's main rival, Samawadi Party, had promised to probe the matter.

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