Uttar Pradesh lokayukta justice (retired) NK Mehrotra has recommended filing FIRs against two former BSP ministers and several bureaucrats and engineers for allegedly siphoning off Rs. 1,410 crore of public money for the construction of Dalit memorials during former chief minister Mayawati’s regime.
Mayawati, however, has been kept out of the loop by Mehrotra, who submitted an 88-page report on the alleged anomalies in the construction of these memorials to chief minister Akhilesh Yadav on Monday. Yadav had set up the probe in July 2012.
Those indicted include former BSP ministers Naseemuddin Siddiqui and Babu Singh Kushwaha, two former legislators, Sharda Prasad and Anil Kumar Maurya, sitting MLA Ramesh Chandra Dubey and 199 officials of various departments who supervised work on these projects. Since his recommendations are not binding on the state government, the lokayukta has urged Yadav to constitute a special task force or refer the case to CBI for further investigation.
“At least 34% money (Rs. 1,410 crore) of the total Rs. 4,148 crore funds sanctioned for the construction of these memorials went into the pockets of these ministers and officials. I have asked the state government to recover this money from them by confiscating their assets,” Mehrotra told HT.
While Siddqui, the national general secretary of the BSP, was then minster of the public works department (PWD), the agency which supervised the construction of these memorials, Kushwaha, who has since been ousted from the party, was then minister in-charge of mines.
The construction work of these memorials was carried out by Rajkiye Nirman Nigam — a unit of the PWD and Lucknow Development Authority, which falls under the housing department, a portfolio then held by Mayawati.
“The EOW recorded the statements of all the accused but nobody mentioned her name,” Mehrotra added.