In an embarrassment to the former Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) government, the Uttar Pradesh Police have alleged more than Rs. 60 crore was spent on elephant statues installed at memorial parks located in Lucknow and Noida by former chief minister Mayawati.
The police also hinted tender-norms were probably fitted to benefit certain contractors.
The alleged contractors sold the statues at highly increased prices to the state government.
The police recovered documents that highlighted irregularities in the tendering process and payment to the sculptors while raiding the office and godown of the Uttar Pradesh Rajkiya Nirman Nigam Ltd (UPRNNM).
The police came to know about the scam while probing a complaint made by Agra-based sun-contractor Madan Lal.
Lal had filed a First Information Report (FIR) against a contractor named Aditya Agarwal, who did not pay him more than Rs. 40 lakh that was due to him for supplying a stone elephant.
The police reportedly arrested Agarwal after recovering the elephant from his godown.
Slamming the former government, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and Samajwadi party (SP) leader Akhilesh Yadav told reporters, " The scam has been a massive one and it will be unveiled after further investigations.It can be a 40,000 crore scam. We should congratulate the police foe investigating the matter."
The Dalit memorials consist more than 200 status of BSP party symbol elephants out of which 156 are present in Lucknow while 52 are installed in Noida.