Former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati's close confidante Naseemuddin Siddiqui, who was a key minister with multiple portfolios during her five-year rule, will soon be under the Central Bureau of Investigation's net.
This follows an order of UP Lokayukta Justice N K Mehrotra recommending a probe against the former minister by the CBI or by the Enforcement Directorate.
Significantly, the Lokayukta has found Siddiqui, who is also Bahujan Samaj Party's general secretary and leader of the opposition in the state legislative council (Vidhan Parishad), prima facie guilty of amassing assets far disproportionate to his known and legitimate sources of income.
He was known for having made huge underhand money in transfer and posting of engineers and other officials under the different departments held by him. Excise contracts were also never awarded without pay-off.
Besides he and his family members were known to have acquired large chunks of land in Banda, Amroha and Lucknow.
A preliminary inquiry carried out by the Lokayukta also found the BSP leader of setting aside all laws and norms in allocating mining contracts during the 5-year-long 'Maya raj'.
Siddiqui was found to have not only amassed huge wealth in his name but also in the name of his wife, son, brother and other family members, besides acquiring a lot of 'benami' property in different parts of the state as well as in other states.
He was accused of having made investments in foreign countries too.
Interestingly, he handled several key and lucrative portfolios like public works, excise, irrigation, housing as well as agriculture marketing.
In his report submitted to the UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, the Lokayukta has also charged Siddiqui of laundering money by floating a couple of mock companies in the name of his son and nephew.
"What was most glaring that even as the overall business carried out by these companies came down drastically, the incomes of the proprietors continued to rise over the same period," Justice Mehrotra pointed out, adding, "Sure enough, I have reason to believe that these companies were used for money laundering by the former minister."
What seems to have irked the Lokayukta is that the state government was still sleeping over his earlier report in which he had drawn the government's attention towards the disproportionate assets of Siddiqui's wife Husna Siddiqui, a BSP member of the upper house of the state legislature.Even though five months have passed since then, no action has been initiated on Lokayukta's report.