Former BSP ministers issued notices in UP memorial scamtext_fields
Lucknow: The vigilance department in Uttar Pradesh served notices to former Ministers Naseemuddin Siddiqui and Babu Singh Kushwaha over a Rs 4,200 crore scam. The two former Bahujan Samaj Party Ministers later jumped ship; while Naseemuddin Siddiqui is now in the Congress, Babu Singh Kushwaha now heads the Jan Adhikar Manch Party.
The scam involved the construction of memorials in Lucknow and Noida under the Mayawati government. The monuments were named after Dalit icons and Rs 4,500 crores was earmarked for the projects in the state budget. The constructions employed red sandstones which were procured from Mirzapur district and routed via Rajasthan to increase costs and causing huge loss of revenue for the state exchequer.
About 20 people have been arrested in connection with the scam since the probe began in 2013 following a Lokayukta probe indicting 199 persons, including Siddiqui, Kushwaha and 12 BSP MLAs. The Lokayukta report further noted that though labourers and machines used for cutting stones were hired from Lucknow, the payments were ten times the normal wages/ charges. Following the report, the Samajwadi Party government led by Akhilesh Yadav lodged an FIR in 2014.
About 40 government officers in service at that time have also been served notices for recording their statements, a source from the vigilance department said.
In the first charge sheet filed in October 2020 about the scam, six government officials were named. The Enforcement Directorate then registered a case of PMLA and attached properties of engineers and contractors in Lucknow,