Siddiqui, Kushwaha among 19 booked in Maya memorial scam

The UP Vigilance Establishment on Wednesday lodged an FIR against former ministers Naseemuddin Siddiqui and Babu Singh Kushwaha, along with 17 other serving and retired government officials in connection with the alleged irregularities mounting to Rs 1410 crore in the purchase of sandstone for the construction of memorials and parks during the erstwhile BSP government.

The former ministers were booked on the recommendation of Lokayukta N K Mehrotra, who had initiated an inquiry and later indicted 199 people in connection with the alleged irregularities. Mehrotra's report had declared that the sandstone was purchased at exorbitant rates by Rajkiya Nirman Nigam, the government agency that handled the construction work.

An FIR under IPC 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant), 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and sections of Prevention of Corruption Act against Siddiqui, Kushwaha, former managing director of the Nigam CP Singh, former joint director of Mining Directorate S A Farooqui, and several other government officials has been lodged at Gomti Nagar police station.

Siddiqui and Kushwaha were ministers in the PWD and Mining, respectively, during Mayawati's regime. While Siddiqui is currently BSP's national general secretary, Kushwaha, after being expelled from the party in 2011, is currently lodged in jail in connection with the NRHM scam.

Gomti Nagar station officer Umesh Bahadur Singh said the FIR has been lodged by Vigilance Establishment's Lucknow sector.

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