Lucknow: Former Bahujan Samaj Party leader Babu Singh Kushwaha, currently lodged in Dasna Jail, Ghaziabad, has accused BSP general secretary Naseemuddin Siddiqui for Memorial Construction Scam. Economic Offences Wing (EOW), probing the alleged irregularities in procurement of stones for construction, has submitted its investigation report to Lokayukta head N K Mehrotra.
Sources claim that the primary inferences are backed by several document and proofs against the minister. Mehrotra says that any conclusion can be driven only after going through the report. During his interrogation, Kushwaha said that the stones including pricey statues used in memorial construction were chosen by Naseemuddin and their cost was decided by PWD. Ironically, the department was then headed by Naseemuddin himself.
Notably, the construction scam drained a major share from the government’s treasure, still Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav seems least interested in taking any action against alleged ex-CM Mayawati and Naseemuddin. Contrary to this, earlier, Samajwadi Party promised to eradicate corruption and punish the scammers, which now appears as a way to come into throne. In spite of having ample of evidences. The government seems to take a back seat when it actually comes to taking strict actions against corrupts.
The EOW report submitted on Wednesday suggests major roles of engineers, officers, bureaucrats and politicians in the Memorial Construction Scam. PWD chief engineer Tribhuvan Ram is one of the main names under scanner including 25 others, whose statements have been recorded. The report also includes a copy of 450 testimonies from different witnesses. Mehrotra says that Kushwaha’s statement carries weight and as he has piled everything on Naseemuddin. However, Naseemuddin after an hour long interrogation in EOW office on Wednesday said that the move is politically motivated.
An EOW officer revealed that Naseem was questioned on several subjects and said, “We asked Siddiqui about his involvement in the procurement of stones and the orders issued by him to officers of Lucknow Development Authority (LDA) and Rajkiya Nirman Nigam (RNN).”
Siddiqui, in defense said, “I had issued no direction to LDA and RNN officers on purchase of stones. Directions were issued by the state government. The officers finalized the contractors and the consortium from which the stone was purchased. The procurement was reviewed by a coordination committee constituted by the state government. I was not involved in the purchase at any stage.”
He went on claiming that in case of doubts, the quality of stones can be checked by experts.
Last year, the Samajwadi Party government ordered a lokayukta probe into the construction of memorials and installation of statues of dalit icons in Lucknow and Noida.