The CBI is all set to register an FIR in the multi-crore Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MNREGS) scam in Uttar Pradesh. CBI sources say they are just awaiting the approval of the final draft of the FIR from the agency's New Delhi HQ "which could come any day".
The FIR and the CBI investigation which would follow could translate into a major embarrassment just before the Lok Sabha election for both the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) as the financial embezzlement – estimated to be to the tune of Rs40,000 crore – took place under the regimes of Mulayam Singh Yadav and Mayawati.
Though over a hundred officials had been suspended during the BSP regime in this regard, no action was ever taken against any IAS official. Interestingly, several IAS and PCS officials allegedly involved in the scam during the BSP regime continue to hold top positions in the SP regime, too. An IAS officer, alleged to have bungled over Rs 400 cr of MNREGS funds during his tenure as DM of an east UP district in the previous government, is secretary to CM Akhilesh Yadav.
The Allahabad High Court had on January 31 this year ordered the CBI inquiry after hearing a PIL. The high court order takes into ambit seven districts of east UP and the tenure of the Mayawati regime between 2007 and 2010. However, CBI sources say, the scope of the probe is likely to be extended to the previous Mulayam regime, too, which was in power from 2003 to 2007.