Mayor, BJP MLA among 40 accused in Ayodhya land scam
The city mayor, a local Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA, and a former party legislator are among the 40 people who have been accused of illegally selling plots and building infrastructure on such land by the Ayodhya Development Authority. Mayor Rishikesh Upadhyay and MLA Ved Prakash Gupta have, however, claimed innocence and alleged conspiracy in the list of alleged offenders released by the authority.
"A list of 40 people who illegally bought and sold land and got construction work in the authority area was issued by the authority on Saturday night," the authority's vice chairman Vishal Singh said. Upadhyay and Gupta said they were wrongly accused in the case under a conspiracy. Meanwhile, Gorakhnath Baba, a former BJP MLA from Milkipur, is also named on the list.
As per reports, rival parties brought up the matter of the illegitimate trading of land in Ayodhya before the assembly elections earlier this year. In a letter to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, local MP Lallu Singh demanded that the SIT look into the situation. The Samajwadi Party (SP) urged inquiry and action against the offenders as soon as the list was made public.
Meanwhile, SP president Akhilesh Yadav took a dig at the BJP on the issue and accused the party of indulging in corruption. He added that the saffron party's "bhrashtachari" (corruptions) should at least spare Ayodhya.
"Sin by BJP workers in Ayodhya! BJP's Mayor, local MLA, and former MLA are establishing illegal colonies in association with land mafia," SP tweeted. "30 illegal colonies have been set up, causing loss of state revenue to the tune of hundreds of crore. The matter should be investigated. Action should be taken against the culprits," it added.