Plantation scam: Cong disputes UP govt claim, seeks fresh prob

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Lucknow, Nov 8 (UNI) The Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee (UPCC) has disputed the state government's claim that it had got a clean chit in the alleged Bundelkhand plantation scam involving Rs 409 crore.

''The claim of UP chief secretary in this regard is farcical as it is based on the report of monitors of RD ministry, who are not the regular officers of the Union Ministry,'' UPCC president Reeta Bahuguna Joshi said here in a statement.

She said the party had already spoken to Union Rural Development Minister Raghuvansh Prasad Singh in this regard and demanded fresh probe into the alleged scam, in seven districts of Bundelkhand, by senior officers of the department.

AICC secretary Pravin Rashtrapal would meet Mr Singh in New Delhi on November 10 and apprise him of the confusion created by the state government that was misleading the people of the state on the issue.

In fact, the issue was raised by the UPCC through an FIR lodged in September last, in which it was alleged that the executing staff in Jhansi, Mahoba, Lalitpur, Banda, Chitrakot, Jalaun and Hamirpur districts had misappropriated Rs 409 crore out of which Rs 209 crore was diverted from National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme.

The flaunting of minimum wages for the labourers involved in the work was also alleged in the complaint filed, copy of which was sent to the Centre as well. On the basis of the complaint, the Centre had probed the matter through its two teams of the monitors of RD ministry.

UP chief secretary, in a press conference last evening, had released the reports of two probe teams and had claimed that the state government was given a clean chit on this.

The UP chief secretary had also said the charges levelled against seven UP departments involved in the plantation were baselss and politically motivated.

UNI SB JAS GL KN1903

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