Uttar Pradesh Lokayukta has started a probe into a complaint against state mining minister Gayatri Prasad Prajapati for allegedly misusing his office and amassing assets disproportionate to his known sources of income, a charge denied by the legislator.
“I have received a complaint against the minister. The complaint has been filed by Om Shankar Dwivedi, a resident of Pratapgarh. The complaint runs into 1,727 pages. We have started a probe and sought further details about the allegations from the complainant,” Lokayukta N K Mehrotra said.
He said the inquiry is in the preliminary stage and the complaint will be formally registered after the examination of allegations.
The complainant has alleged that Prajapati, the first time Samajwadi Party MLA from Amethi, and his relatives including wife, Maharaji, sons Anil and Anurag, and daughter Ankita have bought immovable properties at the cost of Rs 340.49 crore and their current market value is over Rs 1,000 crore.
The minister is also alleged to have acquired assets through at least six companies, which are run by his relatives and friends, among others. The complainant further alleged that the minister has as many as 11 SUVs.
Prajapati, however, rubbished the allegations as “fictitious” and made to malign his image.
“Before becoming legislator, I had been working as a contractor since 1986. I was also a director in MGA Colonisers, a company involved in sale and purchase of properties. I started trading in land in 1994. Later, after becoming an MLA, I resigned from the company,” Prajapati said, adding his assets were created when he was the director of MGA Colonisers.
Prajapati said his sons Anil and Anurag are now the directors of the company, which still deals in land.
About the registries of various land deals submitted to the Lokayukta, Prajapati claimed all the documents were fake.
He was inducted into the Akhilesh Yadav ministry in its first expansion as a minister of state but was later elevated as Cabinet minister.
Mehrotra said most of the properties allegedly bought by Prajapati and his family members are agricultural land in Lucknow’s Mohanlalganj area, Amethi and Sultanpur.
Meanwhile, BJP has sought reply of Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on the issue. “The mining minister is playing in the hands of mining mafia and minting money. Despite orders of High Court, illegal mining could not be stopped as mining mafia are patronised by government itself”, BJP spokesman Chandramohan told reporters.
He said that SP government had only taken forward “corrupt practices” of the previous BSP regime and did nothing for the people.