In what could spell trouble for BSP chief Mayawati, the CBI has started investigation into alleged irregularities in the sale of 21 state-owned sugar mills during her tenure as Uttar Pradesh chief minister.
The sale of the mills during her tenure in 2011-12 had led to a loss of Rs 1,179 crore to the state exchequer, officials said.
The agency has registered an FIR and six preliminary enquiries to probe the alleged irregularities, they said.
The BJP government under Yogi Adityanath had recommended a CBI probe in the matter on April 12 last year.
The agency has not named as accused any official of the Uttar Pradesh government or any politician of the state, the officials said.
Seven private persons, who had allegedly submitted forged documents during the purchase of the UP State Sugar Corporation Ltd mills, have been booked by the agency, they said.
The state government had sought a CBI investigation into the sale of the 21 sugar mills, and forgery and cheating in the purchase of seven closed mills in Deoria, Bareilly, Laxmi Ganj, Hardoi, Ramkola, Chittauni and Barabanki, the officials said.
The case was being probed by Lucknow Police.
It is alleged that the Mayawati-led government had sold the 21 mills, including 10 operational ones, below market price, which led to a loss of Rs 1,179 crore, the officials said.