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HindustanTimes Fri,01 Aug 2014

Lalu’s conviction: Tainted UP politicians feel the ‘heat’

Rajesh Kumar Singh , Hindustan Times  Lucknow, October 01, 2013
First Published: 10:19 IST(1/10/2013) | Last Updated: 10:27 IST(1/10/2013)

The Supreme Court judgement that ordered immediate disqualification of an MP or MLA convicted in a criminal case punishable by two years or more hangs like a sword of Damocles over a number of tainted politicians in the state.

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The Monday verdict of a CBI court against Rashtriya Janta Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav in the fodder scam, which may not only cost him his Lok Sabha membership but also bar him from contesting elections, must have only added to the growing discomfiture of these UP politicians.

Eight ministers of the previous Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) government are under Vigilance department scanner for indulging in corrupt practices while heading various departments.

In its preliminary probe, the Vigilance department has detected gross irregularities against these ministers, including floating of fake companies and huge money laundering.

The department, which has decided to take assistance of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to detect the trail of the illgotten money, hopes to file chargesheets against these tainted ministers soon.

“We would file the chargesheet in the court as soon as we complete the probe. It’s just matter of time,” said a Vigilance department officer.

Lokayukta justice (retd) NK Mehrotra had probed disproportionate asset cases against ministers Naseemuddin Siddiqui, Babu Singh Kushwaha, Ramvir Upadhyay, Rangnath Mishra, Awadhapal Singh Yadav, Badshah Singh, Rakesh Dhar Tripathi, Chandradeo Ram Yadav and Ramachal Rajbhar and recommended vigilance department probe against them.

Badshah Singh and Babu Singh Kushwaha are cooling their heels in jail as the hearing of the case against them is continuing in the court. Naseemuddin Siddiqui is member of the legislative council and Ramvir Upadhyay is member of the legislative assembly. Others lost in the 2012 assembly election.

Former family welfare minister Babu Singh Kushwaha and former BSP MLA Ram Prasad Jaiswal have been arrested in the multi crore national rural health mission (NRHM) scam. Both are lodged in Dasna jail, Ghaziabad, and the hearing of the case is continuing in a special CBI court. Incidentally, NRHM scam is considered a much bigger scam than the fodder scam.

Also, SP MLA from Bikapur assembly seat Mitrasen Yadav, Vir Singh from Chitrakut assembly seat, Ramvir Singh who represents Jasrana assembly seat, Quami Ekta Dal MLA Mukhtar Ansari, MLA from Sakaldiha assembly seat Sushil Singh and BSP MLA from Bulandshahr assembly seat Mohammad Alim Khan are facing murder charges and the cases are pending in the court.

Majority of the tainted politicians continue to contest the election on the ground that hearing of the case was continuing in the court.

The Supreme Court in its order on July 19 had struck down the provision in the electoral law that provided protection to sitting MPs and MLAs by allowing them to continue in their posts if they appealed against a lower court conviction and secured a stay against the order.


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