Home / Politics / News /  Statues built by Mayawati under ED scanner

NEW DELHI : The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday conducted searches across seven locations in Uttar Pradesh in connection with the alleged irregularities in the 111 crore construction of memorials and statues during Mayawati’s tenure as chief minister.

The crackdown on Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati, comes just a few weeks after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) started probing Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav’s involvement in the illegal sand mining case.

The opposition has alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government is using central agencies to selectively target opposition party leaders on various alleged cases of irregularities ahead of the Lok Sabha elections that are to be held in a few months.

The probe agency has filed a criminal case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) after taking cognisance of a state vigilance department complaint dating back to 2014, according to people familiar with the case.

The vigilance complaint was filed under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA) pertaining to alleged financial irregularities in the construction of memorials, including statues of BSP founder Kanshi Ram and the party’s poll symbol, the elephant, when Mayawati served as the chief minister between 2007 and 2012.

The constructions “resulted in a loss of more than 111.44 crore to the government exchequer and unlawful gain to public servants and private individuals", the vigilance complaint alleged.

The state government headed by Mayawati had built the memorials, statues, and parks at a cost of more than 2,600 crore, in several places across the state, including Lucknow and Noida.

During the winter session of Parliament, the leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad, told media persons outside the House that “the BJP has not spared anyone, be it from the Rashtriya Janata Dal, Congress, Trinamool Congress or any other party, such as the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, and the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam. This is an attempt to stop the ‘gathbandhan’ and when people want to join the gathbandhan, there will be fresh CBI cases against them".

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