UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav is not only wooing the state’s minority Muslim community but he is also dragging his feet on initiating action against BSP leader and former minister Nasimuddin, who has been found guilty of involvement in several corruption cases and abuse of office.
Besides the state government’s investigating agencies, the graft charges against the former minister had been upheld by the Lokayukta, which recommended to the SP Government to get the CBI and the ED to probe Nasimuddin’s “vast economic empire”.
However, the file has been given a quiet burial by the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO)and the Lokayukta’s demand hushed up.
In a clever move aimed at protecting the BSP leader from the clutches of the Central agencies, Akhilesh opted for’lesser of all the evils’ on offer -- a probe by the state vigilance. But there was no respite for Nasimuddin as he was found guilty by the Vigilance Department as well.
According to the vigilance probe, Nasimuddin had amassed assets worth over `13 crore, which was disproportionate to his known sources of income. Also, his family members including wife Huma Siddiqui MLC, brother Zamiruddin Siddiqui and son Afzal had acquired assets through illegal means. And Afzal is widely tipped to be the BSP candidate from Fatehpur.
In addition to the corruption charges, it was alleged that the family had formed a so-called charitable trust and received funds from the government and non-government sources. However,the money was used to line their pockets .
The Vigilance Department has been repeatedly seeking permission from the state government for filing criminal cases against Nasimuddin and for taking follow-up action like his arrest and interrogation. But the CMO has failed to provide a clear reply to the vigilance demand under some pretext.
Nasimuddin, who is the BSP’s Muslim face, enjoys a pre-eminent status in the party akin to the one accorded to Mohammad Azam Khan in the SP. And the BSP leader is part of Mayawati’s inner circle and has the backing of his community.
The Chief Minister, according to sources in the Home Department, is wary of any political fall-out resulting from Nasimuddin’s arrest and hence he is still weighing the options before giving a green signal for proceeding against him.
Secondly, the state’s bureaucracy is none too keen on taking action against the powerful former minister and they also want to be on the his right side so that they don’t become ‘victims’ when Nasimuddin returns to power in the future.
Although the Vigilance Department had sent its second reminder to the Home Department on April 29 in the Nasimuddin case, it is still awaiting a reply.
However, Nasimuddin’s fellow partymen and former Cabinet colleagues like Rakeshdhar Tripathi, Oudh Pal Singh Yadav, Chandradev Ram Yadav and Badshah Singh were not so lucky.