The Enforcement Directorate (ED) Thursday conducted searches in Uttar Pradesh in connection with alleged irregularities of over Rs 111 crore in construction of memorials in the state during the tenure of BSP supremo Mayawati, PTI reported. A state vigilance commission report in 2014 had alleged financial irregularities in the construction of memorials, including statues of BSP founder Kanshi Ram and the party’s poll symbol ‘elephant’, during Mayawati’s regime between 2007 and 2012.
Acting on the complaint, the ED has filed a criminal case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) to investigate the matter. Raids are being conducted at seven places, including those of some officials and other private people, officials told PTI.
The vigilance commission report had alleged that the said act “resulted in the loss of over Rs 111,44,35,066 to the government exchequer and unlawful gain to public servants and private individuals”.
The state government headed by Mayawati had built the memorials, statues and parks at an estimated cost of Rs 2,600 crore in Lucknow, Noida and few other places in the state.
Two members from Mayawati’s cabinet, Nasmeedunin Siddiqui and Babu Singh Kushwaha, along with 12 MLAs and several others, were indicted by the UP Lokayukta for alleged ‘wrong-doings’ in the purchase of sandstone for the memorials.
On the Lokayukta’s report, the vigilance department FIR was lodged against them in 2014.
The other persons against whom the case was registered include more than 100 engineers and officers of the UP Rajkiya Nirman Nigam, Public Works Department and New Okhla Industrial Development Authority (NOIDA).
Earlier this month, the agency had raided several locations in a money laundering case, booked to probe illegal mining in the state and this case has links to former Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav.
Yadav and Mayawati have recently forged an alliance to contest the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.
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