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LACCFED Scam: Former labour minister Badshah Singh arrested

Singh received Rs 5 crore kick back, says State Cooperative Cell

lucknow Updated: Oct 03, 2012 19:04 IST
HT Correspondent/Rajesh
HT Correspondent/Rajesh
Hindustan Times

The former labour minister, Badshah Singh accused in multi-crore Labour and Construction Co-operative Federation (LACCFED) scam was arrested on Wednesday by the special investigation bureau (SIB) of state cooperative cell.

The state cooperative cell has summoned Singh for interrogation. He has been charged with receiving Rs 5 crore kick back from LACCFED officers for sanctioning the Rs 100 crore labour shed construction project.

The state cooperative cell decided to grill Singh. Even after several summons Singh failed to turn up.

On Friday Singh sent a letter to the DG, state cooperative cell, Subrat Tripathi stating that due to ill health he was unable to appear in the cooperative cell office. A state cooperative cell officer said, “We received information that Singh was trying to avoid interrogation and illness was a mere excuse. A terse message was sent to Singh- if he fails to appear strict action would be taken against him.” The plan worked and Singh appeared in the cooperative cell office today. He accepted receiving kick back in labour shed construction project and was arrested immediately by cooperative cell sleuths.

A minister in Mayawati government Singh was indicted by Lokayukta, Justice (retd) NK Mehrotra Lokayukta in the disproportionate asset case and grabbing of the government land. Mayawati sacked him from the post ending his honeymoon with BSP.

On the eve of the assembly election Singh joined BJP and contested from Mahoba assembly seat. He lost the election and was in political wilderness since then. The national president of BJP, Nitin Gadkari had to face flak for opening the door to the tainted ministers of Mayawati government- Badshah Singh and Babu Singh Kushwaha- an accuse in multi crore national rural health mission (NRHM) scam.

The DSP, SIB, Aditya Prakash Gangwar who has been appointed inquiry officer in the case said,” to pay kick back to Singh the officers withdrew Rs 5 crore from the account of LACCFED to pay kickback to Singh”.

The Ministry of Labour and Employment has planned to construct labour sheds in various cities of the state. These sheds were to be used as rest point by the migrant labourers visiting cities for petty jobs. A meeting was held at New Delhi in 2010-11 between the state labour department officers as well as Ministry of Labour and Employment officer to prepare the detailed project report. The central government allocated Rs 100 crore for the construction of the labour sheds.

Meanwhile the LACCFED officers approached the labour department to sanction them the project. A SIB officer said the LACCFED officers were told to talk with the then labour minister Badshah Singh. The LACCFED officers were summoned to Kharela the native village of Singh located in Mahoba district. In the meeting Singh told the officers to give Rs 5 crore as commission to sanction the project.

The officers withdrew Rs 5 crore from the account of LACCFED handed over the money to Singh at his house in Kharela village. Later the Ministry of Labour and Employment shelved the project and the LACCFED officers were caught off guard as they had planned to credit the money released by the ministry into the account of LACCFED. The officers thought that their act would not be detected and they would make quick buck from the central money, but in vain.

The panicky LACCFED officers contacted Singh and urged him to return the amount so that it could be deposited in the account of LACCFED. Singh turned downed their request.

First Published: Oct 03, 2012 19:02 IST