LUCKNOW: The Uttar Pradesh police today detained a businessman who had alleged that an aide to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's had sought a bribe from him.
The police acted against Lucknow-based businessman Abhishek Gupta after a complaint by the UP BJP office that he was putting pressure on bureaucrats, dropping names of party's office bearers to get his work done.
But opposition Samawadi Party has questioned why the original bribery allegation against IAS official S P Goyal, who is principal secretary to the chief minister, is not being probed.
The chief minister has asked officials for the "factual status" of the case.
Lucknow's Senior Superintendent of Police Deepak Kumar confirmed that an FIR has been registered against the businessman at city's Hazratganj police station.
"He has been detained for questioning," he told reporters here. A case has been registered against him.
The SSP said Gupta was picked up following complaints lodged by the in-charge of the UP BJP office yesterday.
But Gupta had earlier written to Governor Ram Naik, alleging that the IAS officer had demanded a bribe to clear a file relating to his petrol pump. The governor, in turn, wrote to Adityanath about the complaint.
"Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has directed Chief Secretary Rajive Kumar to inform the state government about the factual status in the entire episode pertaining to Abhishek Gupta, who had wanted to install a petrol pump in Hardoi district," a UP government spokesperson said.
In his letter to Adityanath, which also surfaced on social media, Naik asked the chief minister to take appropriate action over the complaint against his principal secretary.
Gupta accused Goyal of demanding Rs 25 lakh as bribe for providing land to widen a road leading to his petrol pump at Raiso in Hardoi district, the governor said in his letter.
A copy of Naik's April 30 letter to Adityanath was sent to complainant Gupta as well.
Gupta had e-mailed his complaint to the governor on April 18, saying an oil company had approved the petrol pump and he wanted land for widening a road leading to it.
It said an application for this was pending before Goyal, and this had delayed the pump's opening.
Goyal said that he will reject the file if he wasn't paid Rs 25 lakh, according to the businessman.
"I said that I am not in a position to pay since I have already taken a loan. I had tried to record his conversation. He saw it and scolded me and told me to leave the place," the businessman complained. But the ruling BJP sought police action against the businessman himself.
Bharat Dikshit, the in-charge of BJP's state headquarters, yesterday wrote to the Lucknow SSP seeking an FIR against Gupta.
Dikshit accused Gupta of pressuring officers to get "inappropriate" work, by falsely taking the names of BJP office bearers.
Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav has sought a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation.
He expressed surprise over the police "quickly detaining" the complainant rather than showing alacrity in probing his allegation that he was asked for a bribe. He said the same sections of the IPC were applicable to those who demand or offer a bribe.