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Mayawati lands up in trouble as CBI takes over probe in the Rs 1,179 crore UP sugar mill scam

As reported by Times of India, former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati may find herself contending with squally weather conditions as the Central Bureau of Investigation(CBI) take over the probe into the alleged disinvestment of 21 state-owned sugar mills in 2010-11, which caused a loss of Rs 1,179 crore to the state government.

The former minister in Mayawati government (2007-2012) and once her close aide, Naseemuddin Siddiqui, had claimed that the “sugar mills were sold on the instructions of then CM Mayawati and BSP general secretary Satish Chandra Mishra”. However, Mayawati had claimed that the sale order for the sugar mills was issued by Siddiqui, who was later ousted from the party.

Contrary to its stand before coming to power in 2012, the Samajwadi Party government and then chief minister Akhilesh Yadav in Uttar Pradesh had appeared soft on Rs 1200 crore scam in the sale of the sugar mill in previous Mayawati rule. Significantly, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report had unearthed Rs 1200 scam in the sale of 21 government sugar mills in the state during Mayawati’s regime. Two cartels led by Liquor baron Ponty Chadha and a BSP leader bought most of the mills at throwaway prices, but the then Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav took no concrete step to crack down on the scam.

However, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath had ordered an inquiry last year into the Mayawati-led BSP government’s decision to sell the 21 sugar mills at a cost next to nothing in 2010-2011. The Yogi Adityanath government referred the alleged ‘scam’ to the CBI and asked the CBI to intervene and take up the matter, also asking the agency to look into the “entire sale proceedings of 21 sugar mills”, including use of bogus companies and documents in the purchase of seven closed mills in Deoria, Bareilly, Laxmiganj, Hardoi, Ramkola, Chittauni and Barabanki.

Adityanath said nobody had any right to sell government properties at unreasonable prices. The state government would not allow anybody to misuse government property under any circumstances, he said.

According to sources, the CBI has already started reviewing documents related to the sale and FIRs could be registered very soon. The agency will look into the role of politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen involved in the scam. The UP government has shared with the CBI an FIR registered at Gomti Nagar police station in November 2017 against two companies which bought mills — Namrata Marketing Pvt Ltd and Girasho Company Pvt Ltd, which were ‘bogus’, as per the enquiry report of the state government.

The Mayawati government had decided to sell these sugar mills on 4th June 2007. The running mills put on sale included Amroha, Bijnor, Bulandshahar, Chandpur, Jarval Road, Khadda, Rohana Kalan, Sakauti Tanda, Saharanpur and Siswa Bazar.

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