The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) raided as many as twelve places in Lucknow on Saturday in connection with the multi-million-rupee foodgrain scam which took place during the Mulayam Singh Yadav regime in 2004. The present prisons minister Raghuraj Pratap Singh alias Raja Bhaiyya was food and civil supplies minister then.
CBI sleuths raided places in Gosainganj, Mohanlalganj, Malihabad, Jiamau, Gomtinagar and Bakshi Ka Talaab areas of the state capital.
While CBI officials remained tight lipped about the raids, sources told IANS that the raids were being conducted on the premises of contractors, suppliers and officials involved in disbursement of food grains to Below Poverty Line (BPL) beneficiaries under the Public Distribution System (PDS).
Investigations have revealed that the Uttar Pradesh foodgrain scam took place between 2002 and 2010 during which period foodgrains worth Rs.35,000 crore, meant for the poor, were sold in the open market with the connivance of government officials, politicians and middlemen.
The foodgrains were meant to be given to the poor through welfare schemes like Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY), Jawahar Rozgar Yojana and Midday Meal Scheme. Some of the smuggled foodgrain was even traced to the Nepal and Bangladesh border areas.
The Special Investigation Team (SIT) set up by the Mulayam Singh government in 2006, lodged over 5,000 FIRs and his successor Mayawati, soon after assuming office, ordered a CBI probe into the scam Dec 1, 2007.