Naseemuddin Siddiqui

Uttar Pradesh (UP) Lokayukta (ombudsman) Justice (retired) N K Mehrotra on Wednesday (22 February 2012) held Naseemuddin Siddiqui, Mayawati government’s most powerful minister, and his wife Husna Siddiqui, prima facie guilty of money laundering and abuse of power. He recommended an inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) or the Enforcement Directorate against both under the Prevention of Corruption Act and Prevention of Money Laundering Act. Mehrotra made the recommendation in a report to Chief Minister Mayawati and sought an action-taken report within one month from her.

In his 929-page report, the Lokayukta recommended investigation into several land purchases by Siddiqui’s relatives as well as undervaluation of assets to evade stamp duty. Siddiqui used QF Educational Institute which existed only on paper for money laundering.

Siddiqui holds several lucrative Cabinet portfolios like PWD, Excise and Health. His wife Husna Siddiqui  is a Bahujan Samaj Party(BSP)  Member of the Legislative Council (MLC).

A complaint against Siddiqui and his wife was lodged by Lucknow-based journalist JN Shukla. The Lokayukta is investigating two more complaints of corruption against Siddiqui.

Lokayukta report is an embarrassment to Mayawati government in the upcoming UP assembly elections. In the last one year Mayawati had sacked 11 ministers on charges of corruption. Six of them were indicted by Lokayukta. This time Siddiqui is her most trusted lieutenant.