Uttar Pradesh Power Minister Shrikant Sharma on Tuesday refuted the charges levelled by Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav against the state government in connection with the EPF scam, saying the foundation of it was laid during the previous regime.
"The first investment in the DHFL was made on March 17,2017, and Akhileshji it was your government which was in power at that time," Sharma said, alleging that on April 21, 2014, the Samajwadi Party government gave permission to the proposal for investing in financial institutions other than government banks.
The minister also accused the SP chief of indulging in politics to gain media attention and said Akhilesh Yadav was supporting former managing director of the state power corporation A P Misra, who was arrested on Tuesday in connection with the case.
"Akhilesh Yadav holding a press conference today for saving a person close to him only goes on to prove that it was his party which was the mastermind of the PF scam," Shrikant Sharma said in a press statement.
Sharma's statement came after Akhilesh Yadav held a press conference, demanding a probe by a sitting High Court or Supreme Court judge into the scam, involving the investment of around Rs 2,600 crore of power employees' provident fund in the DHFL, a housing finance firm.
Clarifying his role in the controversy, Sharma said the decision regarding it was taken by the trust concerned and he had nothing to do with it as no document related to it was sent to him.
As soon as the employees made a complaint, strict action was initiated and I myself wrote a letter to the chief minister, requesting a CBI probe, he said, adding that arrests were made immediately.
Akhileshji why were you worried about investigations, Sharma asked, adding that the employees' interests would be safeguarded and all those responsible for it would be brought to book.