Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has claimed that an alleged financial fraud to the tune of Rs 40,000 crore could emerge in the installation of statues of elephants and memorials by the previous Mayawati government in the state.
Akhilesh made the claim a day after a search was carried out by the police at the office of Rajkiya Nirman Nigam in Gomti Nagar for alleged irregularities in erection of statues of elephants at parks in Lucknow and Noida.
The Samajwadi Party leader said the state government would soon decide the nature of the inquiry into the alleged fraud, calling it a "huge scam."
On being asked about the alleged Rs 5,000 crore scam in installation of statues and stones, Akhilesh said media personnel should not scale down the magnitude of the scam.
"We have said during election time that a large scale scam has been committed. An account of Rs 40,000 crore would emerge and the government would take out the account," he said.
He said that when the cost is worked out, cost of land is not taken into account.
"You will not add the cost of the building which was constructed and later demolished...wastage (of money) into construction of the boundary wall again and again is not taken into account," he said.
"As of now, a few elephants have been recovered. If further investigation is done then the number of statues (constructed) will be much higher," he added.
Akhilesh said the government will soon decide in which form the inquiry should be conducted as the Lokayukta has also given a report against several people, including ministers.
He said this when asked whether a CBI probe would be ordered into the matter. He said that an inquiry was already being conducted.