‘Donors to Rajbhar’s trust include BPL card holders’

A random check by a team sent by the Lokayukta to Ambedkar Nagar has shown that persons from whom former transport minister Ram Achal Rajbhar's trust showed it had received donations either did not know him or his trust, or were too poor to make donations.

Lokayukta N K Mehrotra is investigating allegations of disproportionate assets against Rajbhar, who was a member of the Mayawati cabinet and is now state president of the BSP.

In his reply to the allegations, Rajbhar had submitted a list of 493 persons and claimed they had donated Rs 24.35 lakh to his trust, named Ram Awadh Foundation Trust.

"I sent teams to investigate 20 donors whose name were on the list provided by the former minister. Of these, 11 have said they do not know Rajbhar or his trust," said the Lokayukta. The remaining nine agreed that they gave donations, but their financial capacity was not sound enough for donation.

"One of them was a labourer who said his wage against labour was given as donation. Some were BPL card holders, or owners of only one bigha land. Overall, the team was unable to find corroboration of Rajbhar's claims," said Mehrotra.

The team also probed the loans given by Rajbhar's brother and daughters-in-law and the recoveries which the former transport minister had shown as his sources of income. The investigating team found that most of the borrowers had not paid back the loan or interest. Some of them who paid back had given small amounts like Rs 1,000 or Rs 500, the Lokayukta said.

Rajbhar had claimed that his two daughters-in-law, Chandrawati Devi and Kanchan Rajbhar, had lent Rs 32.48 lakh and Rs 14.53 lakh respectively in 2006-07 to 210 persons and 95 persons respectively. Apart from these, Rajbhar had also shown his brother Ram Karan had lent Rs 7.62 lakh to 47 persons.

"The investigation is still on. I am collecting some more evidence and statements of certain officials are to be recorded," said Mehrotra.

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