Former UP minister held for role in scam

BJP leader Badshaah Singh, who was minister in the earlier Mayawati govt, was arrested by SIB of the cooperative cell for a multi-crore scam.

Lucknow: BJP leader Badshaah Singh, who was minister in the earlier Mayawati government, was Wednesday arrested here by the Special Investigation Bureau (SIB) of the cooperative cell for his involvement in a multi-crore scam, officials said.

The former labour minister in the previous Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) government in Uttar Pradesh, who had so far refused to turn up for interrogation on grounds of medical indisposition, came to the SIB`s office Wednesday and was arrested after brief questioning, they said.

Badshah Singh quit the BSP to contest as a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate in the state assembly elections held this year. He is accused of accepting a Rs.5-crore bribe to process release of government funds to the Labour and Construction Cooperative Federation (LACCFED).

Sources say the SIB has ample evidence of his involvement in the scam, including documents detailing work orders and bills.

The SIB is investigating alleged misappropriation of over Rs.50 crore from government funds meant for LACCFED to construct buildings, including mortuaries, signboards in Navodaya schools, ITI Bhavans, homeopathy hospitals, polytechnic hostels, employment exchanges, court rooms and veterinary hospitals in 2010-2011.

Badshah Singh was removed from the cabinet by then chief minister Mayawati following recommendations by the Llokayukta (ombudsman) in a disproportionate assets case.

He later joined the BJP along with Babu Singh Kushwaha, another tainted BSP leader.

Badshah Singh has pleaded innocence and said the ruling Samajawadi Party government was out to defame him and implicate him in false cases.