UP Governor Ram Naik forwards letter seeking 'action' against Azam Khan to CM AdityanathUP Governor Ram Naik has written to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath seeking action against former minister Azam Khan on various charges, including misuse of official position.
Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik has forwarded a letter to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath asking him to look into the alleged misuse and grabbing of Waqf properties by former minister Azam Khan.
"The letter written by Rampur resident Faisal Lala to the Uttar Pradesh governor highlights the misuse and alleged grabbing of Waqf properties by Azam Khan. The complainant has also demanded a thorough probe into the matter," a Raj Bhawan official said.
On April 24, the governor forwarded Lala's complaint to the chief minister for "appropriate action", the official said.
Naik had been at loggerheads with Khan in the previous Akhilesh Yadav regime over several issues.
Khan handled many portfolios including Parliamentary Affairs and Urban Development Minister in the Samajwadi Party regime.
The SP leader has been accused of misusing his official position as a minister in the Akhilesh-led government and illegally occupying Waqf Board properties.
The Rampur legislator has also been accused of misusing public money and getting a guest house constructed in a private university and taking items belonging to a sports stadium to private Mohammad Ali Jauhar University in Rampur.
A 42-page report prepared by the Central Waqf Council, levelling serious charges against the former Minister, has already been sent to the Prime Minister's Office for action.
'Ball in chief minister's court'
When contacted, Minister of State for Minority Affairs Mohsin Raza told PTI that the "ball was now in the chief minister's court".
"Rampant corruption has been detected in the affairs of the Shia Waqf Board and the Sunni Waqf Board. The probe carried out by the Waqf Council of India has put the role of former UP cabinet minister Azam Khan and Chairman Shia Waqf Board Waseem Rizvi under the scanner," he said.
"In the past 10 years, there have been instances of corruption involving the Waqf properties. The report by the Waqf Council is with the chief minister. Now he will decide, which agency will probe the anomalies. In some of the observations, a CBI inquiry has been sought," Raza said.
Citing the probe report prepared by senior advocate Syed Ejaz Abbas Naqvi, sources in the state government claimed that serious allegations have been levelled against the Shia Waqf Board.
"Cases should be registered against the guilty. The role of Azam Khan must also be investigated and the state government must issue a white paper on the anomalies," they said.
"The anomalies involving the Waqf properties stands between Rs 500 crore and Rs 1,000 crore. The Waqf properties whose count stands at 7,500, has reduced to 3,000 in the past few years. The million dollar question is where have the rest of the properties gone?" Raza asked.
I have discharged my duties honestly, says Azam Khan
Reacting to the development, Khan said, "If I start to target those indulging in backbiting against me, then my entire life will be wasted in chasing them."
"I have discharged my duties honestly as a cabinet minister and I am ready to face any probe," he said.
Azam Khan, BJP minister at odds over Jauhar University guest house
Allegations of irregularities has also been raised about the construction of Mohammad Ali Jauhar University in Rampur. Demands had also been made to launch a probe into its functioning, income and expenditure.
Khan, often in news for his controversial statements has also threatened to blow up a guest house at the university if anyone tried to lay a hand on it following which a state minister said a probe will be held to find out what arms he possesses.
The tussle between Khan and UP Minister of State Baldev Singh Aoulakh started when the latter expressed his resolve to hold a Janta Darbar in a guest house located in the premises of the varsity which is owned by the SP leader.
Reacting to Khan's remarks today, Aoulakh said that this matter would be brought to the notice of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and a probe would be launched to find out what arms and ammunition the former minister possessed.