ED probes 3 Maya ministers for ‘kickbacks’

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is believed to be conducting preliminary inquiries into the sources of income and assets of Badshah Singh, Rangnath Mishra and Chandradeo Ram Yadav, who were ministers in the Mayawati government and are now lodged in jail on charges of taking kickbacks for allocating government funds to the Labour and Construction Co-operative Federation (LACCFED) for construction works in 2010-11.

ED officials have contacted officials of the special investigation bureau (SIB) of the police cooperative cell, which is probing the LACCFED scam, for details of the cases against the three former ministers. SIB Deputy SP AP Gangwar confirmed that ED officials had contacted the bureau.

The three former ministers face charges of taking bribes running into crores. The SIB has also reportedly found that they acquired huge assets through illegal means. Besides, ED had information that Badshah Singh and Rangnath Mishra indulged in money-laundering, sources said.

The SIB sources said that during investigation they found that former labour minister Badshah Singh had assets in Lucknow, Hamirpur, Mahoba and Jhansi in UP and also properties at prime locations in Madhya Pradesh. LACCFED officials who are lodged in jail in the scam are also believed to have provided details of Badshah Singh's assets.

Singh is facing charges of taking Rs 5 crore from LACCFED officials for allocating Rs 100 crore to the agency in 2011. The budget was meant for construction of labour shelters across the state.

But neither LACCFED got the money, nor Singh returned the bribe which was paid from government funds withdrawn from LACCFED bank accounts, it is alleged. Singh was arrested by SIB on October 3 last year and is in jail.

The ED has sought details of the cases against former secondary education minister Rangnath Mishra and former small scale industries minister Chandradeo Ram Yadav. They had allegedly taken bribes of Rs 3 crore and Rs 2 crore, respectively, in advance for allocating government fund to LACCFED for construction works of their departments.

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