A day after he refused nod to five of the nine names recommended by the SP government for MLC posts, Governor Ram Naik on Friday said that unlike a Bill, it is not obligatory on part of the Governor to accept the names proposed by the government when it comes to nominated positions.
While Naik had approved four names for nomination to the Legislative Council, with regard to the remaining five names — Kamlesh Pathak, Sanjay Seth, Ranvijay Singh, Abdul Sarfaraz Khan and Rajpal Kashyap — he had sent the complaints received against them to Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and desired that an inquiry be conducted to find out the truth.
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Speaking to The Indian Express, Naik said he was surprised and even communicated to the government that it has not been able to propose even a single representative from the fields of literature, art and science “from such a big state to be nominated as MLCs”.
Claiming that the four candidates cleared by him have been recommended under the category of social sector and co-operative, the Governor hoped that the government will propose names from other fields as well.
“I have received serious complaints against the five remaining candidates, which include criminal cases, scams and money laundering among others. I had asked for extensive background of these candidates, including their criminal past and pending dues but the aspirants hid these facts in their affidavits, which is an offence,” Naik said.
He added that now he has sought details of the exact profession or businesses being run by these five candidates from the government apart from a probe into the complaints.
Giving details of the complaints against the five candidates, the Governor said 19 cases, mostly criminal, have been lodged against Kamlesh Pathak. “Some of these cases have been lodged in Madhya Pradesh… None were mentioned in the affidavit submitted by the candidate.
Moreover, there were also complaints that Pathak has long pending electricity and telephone bills as well as house tax,” he added.
Sanjay Seth, a real estate businessman, is allegedly involved in NRHM scam, along with former minister Babu Singh Kushwaha. On June 19 and 20, the income tax department had raided several offices of Seth in connection with money laundering. The Governor has asked the government to verify these complaints and also whether Seth is an income tax defaulter.
The Governor said that he has received complaints against candidate Ranvijay Singh about his involvement in a food grain scam in Pune, which is being investigated by CBI. Another candidate, Abdul Sarfaraz Khan, was reportedly caught at the Delhi airport with a weapon and was sent to jail for five days for travelling in train as a Member of Parliament.
The fifth candidate, Rajpal Kashyap, was reportedly booked under Section 7 Criminal Law Amendment Act in the past but did not mention it in his affidavit.
“I have given all these details to the government. Now, it has to conduct an enquiry and give me a report… Uttar Pradesh is such a big state and still the government could not find anyone to represent the fields of literature, art and science in the Upper House, which means that the Constitution has not been followed in the letter and spirit. I have told this to the government,” said Naik.
Nine MLC seats had fallen vacant on May 22. The government had proposed nine names to the Governor on May 20, following which, Naik had sought further details about them. On getting these details in the form of personal affidavits from the candidates, he had examined them in the light of over 200 complaints received by him in the last one month.
On Thursday, he had informed Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav about his decision to clear only four names and asked the government to probe complaints against the remaining five.
What the affidavits don’t tell or, what the government didn’t mention
Kamlesh Pathak has19 cases, some of them lodged in other states and mostly criminal, pending against him. He also has allegedly not paid the electricity and telephone bills, and house tax for long.
Sanjay Seth is allegedly involved in NRHM scam. Income Tax department sleuth conducted raids at his offices on June 19 and 20 this year in connection with a money laundering case.
Ranvijay Singh is allegedly involved in a foodgrain scam in Pune, being investigated by CBI.
Abdul Sarfaraz Khan was allegedly caught at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi Airport with a weapon. He was also sent to jail for five days for allegedly traveling in a train as a Member of Parliament.
Rajpal Kashyap has allegedly been booked under Sec 7 Criminal Law Amendment Act.