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Ajit Jogi served notice by Lokayukt

January 24, 2003 14:44 IST

The Chhattisgarh lokayukt has issued notices to Chief Minister Ajit Jogi, Chief Secretary Arun Kumar and four others for alleged corruption in awarding the contract for the Hasdeo-Bango irrigation project, official sources said in Raipur on Friday.

The Lokayukt is authorised to probe charges against high officials, including ministers and top bureaucrats.

Notices were also issued to former water resources secretary Dr Sushil Trivedi, another government official S K Bhaduri, chief engineer N L Agarwal and N S  Bhadoria on Thursday, sources told PTI.

Acting on the complaint of one Anup Agarwal of Korba, the lokayukt has directed the chief minister and others to reply on or before February 10, the sources said.

In a sworn affidavit, Agarwal had alleged on December 12, before Principal Lokayukt Justice K M Agarwal that Rs one billion (Rs 100 crore) had changed hands while awarding the turnkey contract for the canal construction for the Hasdeo-Bango irrigation project to Hyderabad-based Prasad and Company.

Agarwal also alleged that the contract would normally have amounted to about Rs 700 million (Rs 70 crore).

Last year, Raipur BJP MLA Brij Mohan Agarwal had filed a petition with the Madhya Pradesh Lokayukt on the same issue.

Before it could take any action, the Chhattisgarh lokayukt was set up necessitating the filing of a fresh petition, which Anup Agarwal, son of Korba district BJP president Ram Avtar Agarwal, did.

The issue had also rocked state assembly on several occasions with the main opposition BJP having stalled house proceedings demanding cancellation of the contract.

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