LACCFED officers had withdrawn R5 crore from its account to pay kickback to former labour minister Badshah Singh two years back. This was done to get a costly project sanctioned in the name of the Labour and Construction Co-operative Federation (LACCFED). The fact was revealed during the special investigation bureau’s (SIB) probe into the multi-crore scam.
Now the SIB of the state cooperative cell has summoned Singh for interrogation.
The transaction took place back in 2010 when the ministry of labour and employment had planned to construct labour sheds in various cities of the state. These sheds were to be used as rest point by migrant labourers visiting cities for jobs.
“The central government allocated R100 crore for the construction of the labour sheds. LACCFED officers approached labour department in order to attain the project. After being told to contact Singh, who was the labour minister at the time, the LACCFED officers went to Kharela village in Mahoba to meet him,” said an officer with the state cooperative cell. During the meeting, Singh reportedly asked the officers to give him R5 crore to get the project sanctioned, he added.
The officers withdrew R5crore from the account of LACCFED and gave it to Singh. They had planned to credit the money released by the ministry into the account of LACCFED. “However, their plan was foiled when the government scrapped the project. After this, they requested Singh to return the money,” the officer said.
“When the LACCFED officers went to Kharela to meet Singh, they were chased away by his dogs. Singh threatened them with dire consequences if they demanded to return the kickback amount,” he added.
Director general, state cooperative cell, Subrat Tripathi said, “The statements of the officers and engineers have been recorded by the judicial magistrate as well as SIB sleuths.” “The officers told the sleuths that chairman of LACCFED Sushil Katiyar, public relation officer Parvin Singh, the then general manager, Pankaj Tripathi, and chief engineer GS Srivastava visited Kharela to hand over the money to the labour minister,” he added. The state cooperative cell has collected evidence about the meetings at New Delhi and Kharela as well as withdrawal of money from LACCFED account. “We have enough documentary proof regarding the payment of kickback to former labour minister. That is why Singh has been summoned for interrogation,” Tripathi said.