LUCKNOW: The issue of bribery charges on senior IAS officer SP Goel, posted as Principal Secretary at CM office snowballed into a big controversy on Friday as CM Yogi Adityanath ordered a probe into the allegations and has also sought details of the petrol pump of the businessman who accused Goel of demanding Rs 25 lakh for allotting him a land in Hardoi.
Taking the cognizance of the charges, the CM asked Chief Secretary Rajive Kumar to go into the root of the controversy, check the veracity of the bribery charges and dig out the details pertaining to the petrol pump of Abhishek Gupta who accused Goel of bribery.
On the other hand, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav launched a scathing attack on Yogi government demanding a CBI probe into the issue.”Since the matter is related to the CM office, CBI inquiry should be recommended by the state government,” he said on Friday. The SP chief, however, claimed that corruption was rampant at every level under the present dispensation.
The governor had written to the CM earlier, forwarding a complaint by Gupta against the CM's principal secretary for asking for a bribe in connection with the petrol pump land.
The row erupted on Thursday night after a letter forwarded by state Governor Ram Naik to CM Yogi Adityanath over Gupta’s allegations leaked out. However, highly placed sources in the administration had blamed it on the long-drawn cadre war among the IAS officers themselves and called it the handiwork of anti-Goel lobby.
However, the Raj Bhawan had confirmed having forwarded the letter to the CM office calling it a routine affair as the Governor kept on receiving public complaints and forwarding them to authorities concerned for action.
As per the details of the letter, Naik had informed the CM that Gupta had charged Principal Secretary Goel with seeking Rs 25 lakh in lieu of allotting him a land for broadening of the main road before setting up his petrol pump in Hardoi.
“I am sending Abhishek Gupta’s letter to you for appropriate action,” Naik had said in his letter dated April 30, 2018.
“As the main road to connect the petrol pump is narrow, a representation given to provide necessary land is pending at the level of principal secretary to the CM,” he had written.
Meanwhile, Goel refuted the charges vehemently. Talking to media, he called the allegations ridiculous and clarified that he got Gupta’s file only after Governor’s forwarded letter was received at the CM office. He claimed that he recused himself from the issue and informed the CM duly about it. He, however, expressed his ignorance over the probe ordered by the CM into the matter.
On the contrary, certain audio clips have emerged in which Gupta can allegedly be heard mounting pressure on a senior officer at CM office claiming himself to be a relative of a senior BJP leader.
SP Goel, 1989 batch IAS officer
Current posting: Principal Secretary at CM office Non-controversial officer having served at Centre and state Keeps a low profile
Abhishek Gupta, 23, businessman
Resident of 24, Prakash Lok, Indira Nagar, Lucknow Charges SP Goel with demanding Rs 25 lakh as bribe Wants to set up a petrol pump in Hardoi
Booked for fraud and impersonation under Section 420, 501 of IPC