The mercurial rise of a minister in Akhilesh Yadav’s government, who held a Below Poverty Line (BPL) card till 2012, to the status of a millionaire is indeed astounding. The story revolves around corruption and minting money through the mining business. The minister in question is Gayatri Prajapati, who will have to do a lot of explaining to justify his rags-to-riches story and illegal mining once the CBI starts probe.
Prajapati, who was given a clean chit by the Lokayukta, claimed he was not involved in any corruption and that even the CBI cannot pin him on corruption. But social activist Nutan Thakur, who complained against Prajapati with the Lokayukta and later at the High Court, said: “How can one explain that a man, who was a BPL card holder in his first stint as an MLA in 2012, had turned into a millionaire in four years and that he has several industries and establishments, properties owned by him or his kin.”
She also gave details of Prajapati’s three brothers Jagdish, Chediram, and Sriram being beneficiaries of Antyoday Yojana and he and his brothers being in the BPL list.
A complaint alleged that many properties were owned by Prajapati’s driver and other staff, particularly a woman friend. Thakur had earlier given property details of Prajapati, his wife Maharaji, daughters Sudha and Ankita (village Parsawa), sons Anurag (Dilkusha Road) and Anil (Indrajeet Kheda, Amethi). She said that these properties were bought after October 2013, which hinted that these were procured from income through illegal mining.
Prajapati’s son Anil is director of a multi-speciality hospital Life Cure Medical Center (Pratapgarh, Amethi), Shubhang Exports Limited (Indrajeet Kheda, Amethi) and Decent Constructions (Amethi).
Besides, Prajapati’s aides own several properties – his driver Ramraj is an owner of 15 properties and another help Ram Sahai is `malik’ of 10 properties. His two sons –Anil and Anurag Prajapati – became directors of a dozen companies that came into existence after Prajapati became a minister.
Prajapati’s sons had floated a dozen companies – MGA Colonisers, Desert Contractors, Lifecare Medical and Research, Suhag Export, Daya Builders Private Limited, Excel Built Tech, Kahana Build Well, MGA Hospitality, MSA Infra Venture, MGM Agro Tech, MSG Realtors and MSGA Enterprises since 2013, after Gayatri Prajapati became minister.
During the Lokayukta’s probe, both Ram Sahai (driver) and Gudda (woman friend) refused to divulge details sought from them and instead questioned the Lokayukta’s `authority’ of questioning them. Interestingly, the Income Tax department confirmed to the Lokayukta that Ram Sahai had procured eight properties worth over Rs 77 lakh in two years, but had not filed any return during this period.
In his report sent to the state government, the Lokayukta mentioned that charges of disproportionate assets against Prajapati could not be ascertained in the absence of ‘evidence’. However, he mentioned that he did not probe the ‘illegal mining’ charges as it was pending with High Court.
Sources claimed that the CBI had collected strong evidence of rampant `illegal mining’ in UP and soon they would approach the High Court for permission to get a case registered and legal action taken.