Congress smells a scam in Mayawati’s sugar mill deals

Lucknow, Aug 12 (IANS) The Congress party has smelt a major scam in the recent sale of four ‘sick’ sugar mills by the Uttar Pradesh government.

Accusing the government of taking huge kickbacks, state Congress president Rita Bahuguna Joshi Thursday sought a high level probe into what she said was ‘gross undervaluation’ with the view to benefit the potential buyers.

Throwing the gauntlet at Chief Minister Mayawati, she said: ‘If the Uttar Pradesh chief minister claims that there was nothing shady about the deal, then let her accept our demand for a CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) probe.’

Congressmen propose to call on the state Lok Ayukta to make a written complaint about the alleged scam.

According to Joshi, the government had laid down tailor-made conditions to ensure that the deals were struck automatically in favour of handpicked business houses.

‘The smart modus operandi adopted by the government was to conveniently exclude the cost of real estate of each of the mills from the estimated official valuation,’ Joshi said.

‘While the market value of the land attached to the four mills was of the order of more than Rs.1,500 crore, the mills were sold off for a paltry Rs.166 crore,’ she pointed out.

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