Samajwadi Party leader says Khurshid misused funds meant for specially abled

     Samajwadi Party general secretary Mohan Singh on Wednesday accused Union Law and Justice Minister Salman Khurshid and his family of misusing funds granted to his trust for distributing tricycles and hearing aids to specially abled in 17 districts of Uttar Pradesh. Addressing reporters here, Singh termed it a case of forgery, as the Khurshids have shown wrong signatures and have taken funds in the name of the trust.

“This country’s Law Minister and his family have misused their power. This is a crime. They have misused funds to the tune of several lakhs in the name of a trust for specially abled persons. When the team of a television channel carried out a survey, so everyone from the trust denied any kind of involvement or benefits and all the officials said that their signatures were wrong. This is a case of forgery as well because they have shown wrong signatures and have taken funds,” Singh said.

Khurshid and his wife Louise Khurshid have come under the scanner, after a scam was reported against them. A media report exposed a scam to the tune of Rs.71.50 lakh, in which the Ministry for Social Welfare and Empowerment had granted the amount to the Zakir Hussain Memorial Trust, headed by Khurshid. Incidentally, the members of the trust have denied signing on the list, which contained the number of hearing aids and other equipments.

Singh also refused to comment on Mayawati’s decision regarding extension of support to the federal government, post the announcement by the government to allow foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail and in few other sectors. “Mayawati has said nothing in this regard, so it is not right for us to comment,” he said.

The government while declaring the FDI in retail sector said that state governments would have the liberty to decide whether to allow foreign supermarket chains to enter. The Congress party-led government hopes this will take the sting out of opposition from regional parties who say the policy will destroy jobs. The first set of reforms announced in September have boosted the rupee, which partly recovered from a sharp drop in value this year, but India's central bank says more action is needed to save the budget and reduce inflation. Singh added that the government was misusing the Supreme Court and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to conceal their malpractices.

Mayawati had been accused of acquiring assets disproportionate to her known sources of income during the construction of the Taj Heritage Corridor in the state. The Supreme Court said on Wednesday that the CBI has not been prohibited from probing the disproportionate assets (DA) case against Mayawati and issued a notice to the federal government, CBI and Mayawati on a plea to review its verdict that quashed the disproportionate assets (DA) case. “The government is misusing the Supreme Court and CBI. They are using them to conceal their malpractices. The state leaders are being threatened in the name of Supreme Court and CBI for gaining their support. This is the government’s strategy, where an order came from the Supreme Court regarding Mayawati in the DA case,” he said.

Mayawati has also been criticized for spending millions of rupees on building statues of herself and buying diamond jewelry despite widespread malnutrition and poverty in her state. In the five years since she took office, she had blanketed hundreds of acres of prime real estate in the state capital Lucknow and elsewhere in pink marble and sandstone monuments. Statues of marble elephants and icons of the lower castes, including a dozen of herself, occupy memorial parks created on a scale not seen in India since the British built New Delhi in the fading days of their empire. A government report found that Uttar Pradesh lavished more than 400 million dollars on such projects between 2007 and 2009 alone -- and the building continues.

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