Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Tuesday claimed that an alleged financial fraud to the tune of Rs 40,000 crore could emerge in installation of statues of elephants and also stone memorials by the previous Mayawati government in the state.
Akhilesh made the claim a day after a search was carried out by police at the office of Rajkiya Nirman Nigam (RNN) in Gomti Nagar for alleged irregularities in erection of statues of elephants at parks in Lucknow and Noida.
The Samajwadi leader said the state government would soon decide the nature of an 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 persons should not scale down the magnitude of the scam.
"We have said during election time that 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 into construction of boundary wall again and again is not taken into account," he said.
"The palm trees which are being talked about..If you take information a number of trees are lying in Jiyamau and large number have been buried in ponds," he alleged.
"As of now a few elephants have been recovered...If further investigation is done then the number of statues will be much higher. I congratulated police that they investigated the matter," 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 persons, 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 and it would be seen what other type of probe could be conducted.
ASP (Trans-Gomti) Ram Bahadur said it has come to light that excess payments were allegedly made and works were allotted at higher rates by overlooking rules in a scam which may be to the tune of several crore rupees.