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Fresh trouble for Akhilesh as ED conducts raids in 4 states over Gomti Riverfront project

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Lucknow, Jan 24: The Enforcement Directorate on Thursday conducted multiple searches across various states in connection with alleged discrepancies in connection with former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav's pet Gomti riverfront project in Lucknow.

Raids were being carried out in various premises of the accused and their associates in Uttar Pradesh (Lucknow and Noida), Delhi, Haryana and Rajasthan, by a team of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials assisted by local police.

Fresh trouble for Akhilesh as ED conducts raids in 4 states over Gomti Riverfront project

The Rs 1,500 crore revamp of the riverfront was was sanctioned by Yadav as chief minister of Uttar Pradesh just before the 2017 assembly elections.

BJP frustrated, restless after SP-BSP alliance in UP: Akhilesh Yadav tweets after tie-up

The central probe agency had filed a criminal case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in this instance in March last year. The ED case was filed after taking cognisance of a CBI FIR.

After BJP stormed to power in 2017, Chief Minister Yogi Aditayanath ordered a probe into the project. The state government had allotted Rs 1,513 crore for the project but even after the release of Rs 1,437 crore, only 65% of the work was completed.

The state government had in May 2017 ordered a judicial probe headed by retired judge Alok Kumar Singh into the project.

The central probe agency had filed a criminal case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in this instance in March last year. The ED case was filed after taking cognisance of a CBI FIR.

Akhilesh has accused the BJP of having aligned with central agencies like the CBI and the ED .

The SP chief said, unlike the BJP, the opposition has allied with the people of the country.

"You are making alliances with the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) and ED (Enforcement Directorate). But we have alliances with the people. And in democracy, whatever people decide, that happens," he said.

Yadav appealed to the leaders opposed to the BJP to remain vigilant about conspiracies that would be hatched to wean away their alliance partners.

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