Lokayukta orders CBI probe against Maya aide
In an embarrassment for the Mayawati government, Uttar Pradesh Lokayukta today recommended a CBI probe against one of its most powerful ministers Naseemuddin Siddiqui and his wife Husna, an MLC.lucknow Updated: Feb 23, 2012 01:42 IST
A day before the fifth phase of polling, the Uttar Pradesh lokayukta on Wednesday heaped fresh embarrassment on the Mayawati government, recommending a CBI probe against influential minister Naseemuddin Siddiqui, his wife, son and others for financial impropriety.
Siddiqui, his wife Husna, a member of the state legislative council, son Afzal, and the minister's brother, Zameruddin, came under the lokayukta scanner following allegations of having amassed assets disproportionate to their known sources of income.
Lokayukta justice (retired) NK Mehrotra — who has already indicted nine BSP ministers on charges of corruption — recommended the probe into the family's land and property deals.
He said an enforcement directorate inquiry could also be conducted to ascertain if money laundering was involved.
The lokayukta said he had stated in his report to chief minister Mayawati that a CBI inquiry was required because "black money" was used for land and property purchases through the QF Educational Society across UP.
The minister's wife is the society's secretary. The society's Lucknow address was found to be "incorrect".
Justice Mehrotra said the cash in the society's account was a little more than Rs 3.62 crore, of which Rs 1.82 crore was reportedly raised through donations.
He said the society purchased land in Nidaura village in Barabanki for Rs 46 lakh, which was undervalued. "As per the estimate of the district administration, the land is worth more than Rs 16.39 crore."
Land purchase by Frozen Fruit Private Limited, owned by minister's son, in Jyotiba Phule Nagar (Amroha) has also caught the anti-corruption watchdog's eye.
Justice Mehrotra said complaints of land grab too had been received.
Siddiqui, during a recent campaign tour in Bundelkhand told the electorate, "Please forgive, if me or my family has made any mistakes."
The prominent Muslim face of the ruling BSP, Siddiqui hails from Banda district of Bundelkhand region.
Following the lokayukta rap, state Bharatiya Janata Party chief Surya Pratap Shahi demanded Siddiqui's dismissal. "Assets of all ministers in UP including the chief minister should be probed."
Congress spokesperson Ram Kumar Bhargava said Mayawati should resign on moral grounds.
The lokayukta had earlier indicted BSP ministers Ratan Lal Ahirwar, Anees Ahmad, Babu Singh Kushwaha, Badshah Singh, Rangnath Mishra, Rajesh Tripathi, Fateh Bahadur, Awadhesh Kumar Verma and Sadal Prasad.
First Published: Feb 22, 2012 17:20 IST