Yogi Adityanath Government Has Become An Inquiry Committee: Samajwadi Party

Since taking office on March 19, the Yogi Adityanath-led BJP government has recommended CBI probes into several projects in Uttar Pradesh started by Akhilesh Yadav's Samajwadi Party government.

Yogi Adityanath Government Has Become An Inquiry Committee: Samajwadi Party

Yogi Adityanath recommended a CBI probe into alleged irregularities in a highway project. (File)

Lucknow:  With nearly half-a-dozen projects launched in Uttar Pradesh by former Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav under the CBI scanner, the Samajwadi Party has attacked the Yogi Adityanath government saying it has reduced itself into an "inquiry committee". As the state's BJP government completes 100 days in office in the next few days, a Samajwadi Party spokesperson said it was resorting to such tactics to "smokescreen its failures".

"It smacks of politics of vendetta," Samajwadi Party chief spokesperson Rajendra Chowdhury told PTI. It reflects that the state government relies more on central investigating agencies, like the Central Bureau of Investigation, than on its own machinery for carrying out any probe, he said.

Since taking office on March 19, the Uttar Pradesh government has recommended CBI probes into several projects of the previous government. These include alleged irregularities in the functioning of Shia and Sunni Waqf boards, Akhilesh Yadav's dream project of Gomti riverfront development, mobile creche scheme, and also into the death of Karnataka-based Indian Administrative Service officer Anurag Tiwari in Lucknow last month.

Following an Allahabad High Court directive, the Adityanath government also recommended a CBI probe into alleged irregularities in the construction of the Delhi-Saharanpur Yamunotri highway.

"It seems the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh has become an inquiry committee. It's engaging in politics of vendetta, and more so to smokescreen its failures in delivering on the pre-poll promises," Mr Chowdhury said.

In its probe into alleged irregularities in the Yamunotri highway construction, the Uttar Pradesh Police claimed it found Rs 455 crore had been siphoned off by a Hyderabad-based firm that took up the project. The firm allegedly conspired with the staff of 14 banks and some chartered accountants, the police had said.

The police told the Adityanath government that since the offices of the banks, the chartered accountants and the construction firms were in Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai and other parts of the country, a central probe agency would be the right authority to investigate the matter.

After an internal probe, a CBI inquiry was recommended last month, Principal Secretary of Home Arvind Kumar said. The CBI has filed a police complaint or FIR into alleged irregularities into the Rs 1,100-crore Sachal Palnagriha Yojana or mobile creche programme.

The scheme was launched by the previous government to provide creche facilities to children of women labourers working at construction sites. The scheme, meant to be run with non-governmental organisations or NGOs, sought to provide food, entertainment and educational facilities to children of six years and below.

Police alleged officials of the Uttar Pradesh Social Welfare Board and the Building and Constructions Department conspired with NGOs to divert funds. The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court had handed over the case to the CBI, saying there was a need to probe the alleged misappropriation of public money during the implementation of the scheme.

The court had observed the state government departments were "shifting blame". The CBI has so far booked unidentified officials of the Social Welfare Board, the UP Building and Construction Workers' Welfare Board and several NGOs in this case.

"The CM does not trust his own police when it comes to probe. The Adityanath government seems to rely more on CBI than on Uttar Pradesh police," Samajwadi Party spokesperson Rajendra Chowdhury said.

The Uttar Pradesh government is also contemplating to recommend a CBI probe into alleged irregularities in the Gomti Riverfront Development Project. "Just a couple of days back, a probe report was submitted to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. All necessary steps will be taken and appropriate action initiated for a CBI probe," Minister of State for Urban Development Girish Kumar Yadav told PTI.

On April 1, Mr Adityanath ordered an inquiry by a retired high court judge. The decision came after urban development officials told Mr Adityanath that of the total allocation of Rs 1,513 crore, 95 per cent or Rs 1,435 crore has been spent, but less than 60 per cent of the work has been completed.

Other projects of the previous Samajwadi Party government under the scanner include land acquisition for Agra-Lucknow expressway and Samajwadi pension scheme.

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