MP Minister Faces Lokayukta Probe for Holidaying With Family at Govt Expense
RTI activist Ajay Dubey had complained to Lokayukta that Madya Pradesh forest minister Gauri Shankar Shejwar, accompanied by his wife Kiran, sister-in-law Shashi Thakur and Eco Tourism Board employee Varsha Parihar, had toured Karnataka as its state guest in February 2016. The tour bill amounted to Rs 2,00,000 lakh, but the minister deposited only Rs 63,884 with the board.
Madya Pradesh forest minister Gauri Shankar Shejwar. (Facebook photo)
Bhopal: Madya Pradesh forest minister Gauri Shankar Shejwar finds himself at the centre of a controversy with Lokayukta registering a case against him over alleged misuse of government money for taking his family members, which include his wife, sister-in-law and another woman, on a government trip.
The complaint was filed after an anti-graft activist obtained the said information through an RTI query.
Ajay Dubey, RTI activist, armed with RTI information, had complained to Lokayukta that the minister in February 2016 had toured Karnataka as its state guest.
The senior minister of Shivraj Singh Chouhan government was accompanied by his wife Kiran, sister-in-law Shashi Thakur and one of the Eco Tourism Board employee Varsha Parihar. The expense for the trip was borne by Eco Tourism Board Chief Executive Officer Vinay Burman.
The tour bill amounted to Rs 2,00,000 lakh, but the minister deposited only Rs 63,884 with the board.
"The allegations are baseless. Those who went in official capacity were funded by state government and I paid for those who went in personal capacity. Regular audit also did not object to the tour. Let the probe happen," said Shejwar.
Congress, however, is in no mood to spare the minister and wants his resignation.
"Mr Shejwar is a senior politician and knows all the rules. He took family on government trip and later deposited money as Lokayukta got the complaint. He should step down," Congress spokesperson Ravi Saxena said.
Interestingly, senior Shivraj ministers, like, Narottam Mishra and Lal Singh Arya are already facing the heat after being disqualified by Election Commission of India over paid news case and arrest warrant in Congress MLA murder case, respectively.
Lokayukta has registered a case against Shejwar, Eco Tourism Development Board CEO Vinay Burman. It has also directed the Chief Secretary Madhya Pradesh to furnish all the records on January 16, 2018.
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