Shivpal’s bonhomie with Akhilesh lands him in hot water

Express News Service

LUCKNOW: Gravitating towards Samajwadi Party chief and nephew Akhilesh Yadav, Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party -Lohia (PSPL) chief Shivpal Yadav seems to have landed in hot water.

Shivpal Yadav is actively campaigning for Dimple Yadav, the SP candidate for the upcoming by-poll to the Mainpuri Lok Sabah seat.

The sword of Damocles hangs over Shivpal’s head as the UP government downgraded his security cover from ‘Z’ to ‘Y’ category on Monday. Moreover, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has sought permission to interrogate him in connection with the multi-crore Gomti Riverfront scam in Lucknow. There is a threat of his losing his plush bungalow in Lucknow allotted to him by the Yogi government in 2018.

The bungalow was allotted to him by virtue of being an MLA from Jaswantnagar. He had been using it as his party office ignoring all the norms. Even the authorities had been looking the other way so far as Shivpal had been blowing hot and cold about his relation with nephew Akhilesh and often praising Yogi government for keeping the possibility of aligning with the BJP open during the last 5 years.

Shivpal had parted ways from SP and floated his own outfit –PSPL — following an intense family feud for one-upmanship over the party in 2018.

Just ahead of the 2022 assembly polls, Akhilesh had approached Shivpal and successfully persuaded him to contest on SP ticket from Jaswantnagar. Shivpal won the seat but ended the alliance with Akhilesh on a bitter note accusing the SP chief of insulting and ignoring him by not inviting him to the meeting of SP MLAs.

Even Akhilesh did little to save alliance with uncle and asked him to focus more on his own party than SP.

The demise of SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav once again brought the two close. After announcing the candidature of Dimple for Mainpuri bypoll, Akhilesh, flanked by wife, reached out to Shivpal knowing well his significance in winning over voters in Mainpuri where Shivpal had put his sweat and blood along with Mulayam to build the party organisation.

Now with Shivpal and Akhilesh united and Shivpal holding an aggressive campaign in favour of Dimple Yadav, the state government has apparently increased the pressure on PSPL chief.

With reference to Shivpal’s role in Gomti Riverfront project, he was state Irrigation Minister when the Gomti riverfront project was executed during the SP government’s tenure (2012-17).After coming to power in 2017, Yogi government ordered the first probe into alleged irregularities in Gomti Riverfront Project and got an FIR lodged against several people, including senior officials of the irrigation department on June 19, 2017. Later the probe was handed over to the CBI.

However, the investigation into the scam had reportedly slowed down after the split between Akhilesh Yadav and Shivpal and the perceived rising proximity between Shivpal and the BJP in the past. 

The CBI probe initially confirmed that a budget of Rs 1,513 crore was sanctioned for the project and around Rs 1,437 crore was spent without completing even 60 per cent of the project work despite over 95% of the estimated budget being spent. Multiple anomalies surfaced in the expenditure. Besides, the company that was allotted work of the riverfront beautification was a defaulter. The Enforcement Directorate had also initiated a probe under the Money Laundering Act.

On February 17, 2021, the CBI had filed a charge sheet in the CBI court in Lucknow against six people, including two directors of the firm that was allotted the work of river channelisation, and subsequently, two irrigation engineers in Lucknow were arrested.

Even the decision to downgrade Shivpal Yadav’s security cover apparently comes in the backdrop of his aggressive campaigning in favour of Dimple Yadav for the December 5 Mainpuri Lok Sabha by-election.

PSPL chief Shivpal Yadav, reacting to media queries about the likely CBI investigation against him and three others in the alleged Gomti riverfront scam, said he was not aware of it and was hearing it from the media.

“It is on expected lines.…I have always worked for the benefit of people within the rules and regulations,” said Shivpal while reacting to possible grilling by CBI in connection with Riverfront interrogation over phone. he told reporters in Jaswant Nagar, Etawah. Shivpal is also SP MLA from Jaswant Nagar.

LUCKNOW: Gravitating towards Samajwadi Party chief and nephew Akhilesh Yadav, Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party -Lohia (PSPL) chief Shivpal Yadav seems to have landed in hot water.

Shivpal Yadav is actively campaigning for Dimple Yadav, the SP candidate for the upcoming by-poll to the Mainpuri Lok Sabah seat.

The sword of Damocles hangs over Shivpal’s head as the UP government downgraded his security cover from ‘Z’ to ‘Y’ category on Monday. Moreover, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has sought permission to interrogate him in connection with the multi-crore Gomti Riverfront scam in Lucknow. There is a threat of his losing his plush bungalow in Lucknow allotted to him by the Yogi government in 2018.

The bungalow was allotted to him by virtue of being an MLA from Jaswantnagar. He had been using it as his party office ignoring all the norms. Even the authorities had been looking the other way so far as Shivpal had been blowing hot and cold about his relation with nephew Akhilesh and often praising Yogi government for keeping the possibility of aligning with the BJP open during the last 5 years.

Shivpal had parted ways from SP and floated his own outfit –PSPL — following an intense family feud for one-upmanship over the party in 2018.

Just ahead of the 2022 assembly polls, Akhilesh had approached Shivpal and successfully persuaded him to contest on SP ticket from Jaswantnagar. Shivpal won the seat but ended the alliance with Akhilesh on a bitter note accusing the SP chief of insulting and ignoring him by not inviting him to the meeting of SP MLAs.

Even Akhilesh did little to save alliance with uncle and asked him to focus more on his own party than SP.

The demise of SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav once again brought the two close. After announcing the candidature of Dimple for Mainpuri bypoll, Akhilesh, flanked by wife, reached out to Shivpal knowing well his significance in winning over voters in Mainpuri where Shivpal had put his sweat and blood along with Mulayam to build the party organisation.

Now with Shivpal and Akhilesh united and Shivpal holding an aggressive campaign in favour of Dimple Yadav, the state government has apparently increased the pressure on PSPL chief.

With reference to Shivpal’s role in Gomti Riverfront project, he was state Irrigation Minister when the Gomti riverfront project was executed during the SP government’s tenure (2012-17).
After coming to power in 2017, Yogi government ordered the first probe into alleged irregularities in Gomti Riverfront Project and got an FIR lodged against several people, including senior officials of the irrigation department on June 19, 2017. Later the probe was handed over to the CBI.

However, the investigation into the scam had reportedly slowed down after the split between Akhilesh Yadav and Shivpal and the perceived rising proximity between Shivpal and the BJP in the past. 

The CBI probe initially confirmed that a budget of Rs 1,513 crore was sanctioned for the project and around Rs 1,437 crore was spent without completing even 60 per cent of the project work despite over 95% of the estimated budget being spent. Multiple anomalies surfaced in the expenditure. Besides, the company that was allotted work of the riverfront beautification was a defaulter. The Enforcement Directorate had also initiated a probe under the Money Laundering Act.

On February 17, 2021, the CBI had filed a charge sheet in the CBI court in Lucknow against six people, including two directors of the firm that was allotted the work of river channelisation, and subsequently, two irrigation engineers in Lucknow were arrested.

Even the decision to downgrade Shivpal Yadav’s security cover apparently comes in the backdrop of his aggressive campaigning in favour of Dimple Yadav for the December 5 Mainpuri Lok Sabha by-election.

PSPL chief Shivpal Yadav, reacting to media queries about the likely CBI investigation against him and three others in the alleged Gomti riverfront scam, said he was not aware of it and was hearing it from the media.

“It is on expected lines.…I have always worked for the benefit of people within the rules and regulations,” said Shivpal while reacting to possible grilling by CBI in connection with Riverfront interrogation over phone. he told reporters in Jaswant Nagar, Etawah. Shivpal is also SP MLA from Jaswant Nagar.