Politics may have been their primary occupation yet they have been found running multi-crore business empire.
Some have floated companies, others have been found involved in money laundering. And almost everybody has invested their illgotten money in different cities as well as in foreign countries.
These are the findings of the lokayukta’s probe against eight ministers in previous Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) government.
They are now being probed by the vigilance department.
These ministers are Naseemuddin Siddiqui, Babu Singh Kushwaha, Ramvir Upadhyay, Rangnath Mishra, Awadhpal Singh Yadav, Badshah Singh, Rakesh Dhar Tripathi, Chandradeo Ram Yadav and Ramachal Rajbhar.
Acting on the lokayukta recommendations, the state government had ordered vigilance probe against them recently.
In its preliminary probe, the vigilance department has seconded the lokayukta findings that the ministers had floated companies and were also involved in money laundering.
Now, the vigilance department has decided to take assistance of the enforcement directorate (ED) to detect the trail of the ill-gotten money.
ADG, vigilance, Bhanu Pratap Singh said ED has the expertise to work out such cases.
Talking to HT, lokayukta, justice (retd) NK Mehrotra said the probe revealed that these politicians had floated companies to invest their ill-gotten money and to deceive the Income Tax department.
The ministers were also found acting as conmen.
“They invested money in the company and when the share of the companies went bullish they sold it to another person. In some of the cases the company disappeared or was declared bankrupt,” said the lokayukta.
“When I found that large money have been transferred to the fake companies, I urged the state government to get the case investigated by a specialized agency like ED, CBI or the vigilance,” he added.
He claimed that his probe showed that the assets of the former minister and national general secretary of BSP Naseemuddin Siddiqui increased from Rs. 69 lakh in 2007 to Rs. 13.60 crore in 2012.
Similarly, t he asset of Rangnath Mishra increased from Rs. 1.97 crore in 2007 to Rs. 7.61 crore in 2012.
The asset of Awadhpal Singh Yadav, Rakesh Dhar Tripathi, Ramvir Upadhyay, Chandradeo Ram Yadav, Ramachal Rajbharand Babu Singh Kushwaha too made 300% to 500% increase since they became minister in 2007.
Using their influence, these ministers grabbed government land, ensured that their kin get contract floated by the government departments and diverted the MLA area development fund to the trusts and educational institutions run by their family.
A vigilance department officer said that after completing the investigation, the state government could seize their illegal property under criminal law amendment ordinance, 1944.
When Hindustan Times tried to get the version of the ministers, they refused to speak on the issue. Naseemuddin Siddiqui, Ramvir Upadhyay and Ramachal Rajbhar maintained that they were being harassed as part of the political vendetta.