iconimg Tuesday, September 01, 2015

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Lucknow, October 06, 2012
After zeroing in on former labour minister Badshah Singh, the special investigation bureau (SIB) of the state cooperative cell, which is probing into Labour and Construction Co-operative Federation (LACCFED) scam, has now turned the heat on 7 more former ministers. On Friday, the state cooperative cell issued notices to Rangnath Mishra (former secondary education minister), Nand Gopal Gupta Nandi (former stamp and registration minister), Chaudhary Laxmi Narayan (former agriculture minister), Sadal Prasad (former technical education minister), Awadhpal Singh Yadav (former animal husbandry minister), Chandradeo Ram Yadav (former small scale industry minister) and Anish Ahmed Khan alias Phool Babu (former minority welfare minister).

A state cooperative cell officer said the grilling of the ministers, who have been told to appear in the state cooperative cell office, would begin on October 10.

During investigation, the state cooperative cell has also detected embezzlement of government funds by former PWD minister Naseemuddin Siddiqui and former Panchayati raj minister Swami Prasad Maurya. Probe against the two ministers was still continuing and notices would be issued to them later, said a state cooperative cell officer.

On Thursday, both Siddiqui and Maurya had alleged that the state government was trying to bully them as they were drawing people's attention towards the misrule of Samajwadi Party government. Both the leaders said as the BSP was planning to hold a rally on October 9, the state cooperative cell had issued notices to the former ministers to derail it.

Countering the charges of the BSP leaders, a state cooperative cell officer said former PRO of the LACCFED Parveen Singh, who is in custody of the police, had told the SIB that the ministers were given cut and commission for sanctioning the projects of the respective department to LACCFED.

The SIB has also decided to grill four IAS officers accused in the cooperative bank computerization scam.

A state cooperative cell officer said, "In 2009-10, the state government had planned to computerize the cooperative banks in 36 districts. During probe it was found that large-scale irregularities were committed in the computerization programme, causing a loss of Rs. 7 crore to the state exchequer. A Lucknow based firm - Mega Software Information System --was given the contract for the computerization project at a high rate".

During probe it was found that substandard computers were supplied to the cooperative banks. DG, Cooperative Cell, Subrat Tripathi said the officers were first directed to start investigation in Mainpuri district. Later it was found that poor quality computers were supplied at high rate in all the 36 districts.