UP Vigilance starts probe against six Maya ministers

Following clearance from the Akhilesh Yadav government, the UP Vigilance department has begun inquiries into charges of corruption and amassing assets through illegal means against six former ministers of the Mayawati government who have been indicted by Lokayukta N K Mehrotra.

They are former family welfare minister Babu Singh Kushwaha, former labour minister Badshah Singh, former secondary education minister Rangnath Mishra, former small-scale industries minister Chandradev Ram Yadav, former animal husbandry minister Awadh Pal Singh Yadav and former energy minister Ramveer Upadhyay.

Kushwaha is lodged in jail in a case of irregularities in the implementation of the National Rural Health Mission, which is being investigated by the CBI.

The Lokayukta had found that the complaints against these ministers were prima facie correct. In his reports to the Chief Minister, he had recommended formal investigation by the Vigilance and other agencies. Sources said the Vigilance has been asked to complete the inquiries and submit a report in six months. A separate team has been constituted to conduct inquiry into charges against each minister.

The charges against Kushwaha are related to alleged irregularities in awarding of mining contracts and the alleged money laundering through his registered societies. The Vigilance will take the help of the Enforcement Directorate in the matter of money laundering. The preliminary inquiry into the charges against Kushwaha has found that he had given contracts for mining of stone, red gravel and sand to his close associates, and huge amounts were transferred to Kushwaha's societies in return for awarding the contracts, the sources added.

The ED has already registered a case against Kushwaha in the NRHM scam case, and is examining five societies registered in the names of the his relatives.

The Vigilance will probe into the alleged acts of corruption by Rangnath Mishra during his tenure, his investments, and alleged land grab. Badshah Singh faces the charge of carrying out construction of a stadium for his private college on government land, and using government machinery.

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