Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Thursday ordered filing of FIRs against the personal secretaries of three senior ministers following a sting operation conducted by a TV news channel purportedly showing the trio seeking bribes against favours, including transfers and contracts.
Taking cognisance of the news report based on the sting, Adityanath has ordered for immediate suspension of the three government staff and institution of a special investigation team (SIT) under additional director general of police (ADG) Lucknow zone, Rajeev Krishna, to probe the matter. Inspector general of police (IGP) of special task force (STF) and senior vigilance bureau department would also be part of the SIT.
The SIT would complete the probe and submit a report within 10 days to the government for further action after recording statements of all the concerned parties. Besides, the state secretariat administration would review similar cases as well so as to pre-empt such incidents in future.
The CM had on earlier occasions issued directives for ensuring transparency and fair play in government procedures. He has stressed zero tolerance by the government towards corruption cases and that prompt action would be taken if there is any complaint from any quarters. However, the sting operation has nonetheless caused massive embarrassment to the government.
The sting showed the personal secretaries of UP backward welfare minister Om Prakash Rajbhar, mnister of state for mining Archana Pandey and minister of state for basic education Sandeep Singh seeking monetary favours for facilitating contracts or transfers.
According to sources, the government would take sternest action in these matter if the accused are found guilty of graft charges so as to deter other government employees from indulging in corrupt practices, especially with the crucial 2019 Lok Sabha poll months away.
In the sting, the personal secretary of Rajbhar is shown allegedly seeking Rs 4 million for a transfer. Besides, there are recordings of the secretariat staff allegedly assuring the sting reporter, posing as a contractor, that a contract for school bag and uniform, would be manipulated by networking with the kin of other state minister. However, Rajbhar has washed his hands of the controversy saying he had nothing to do with the alleged deal and in fact asked his departmental head to probe the matter.
In another news report, the secretary of minister Archana Pandey is shown striking a deal with the sting reporter for getting mining contracts in several districts. Meanwhile, she has also recommended strict action against her staff if found guilty after the probe.
The personal secretary of Sandeep Singh, who is the grandson of Rajasthan governor Kalyan Singh, is purportedly shown tying to fix a deal pertaining to a hypothetical contract of supplying books and seeking his share.