The Uttar Pradesh Lokayukta has started a preliminary inquiry against two senior ministers in the BSP Government who have been accused of amassing massive wealth.

Letters have been sent to Higher Education Minister Rakesh Dhar Tripathi and Secondary Education Minister Rangnath Misra who face allegations of having amassed disproportionate wealth after becoming ministers, officials said here on Thursday.

The two ministers have been given four weeks to reply to the allegations.

While Mr. Tripathi has been accused of purchasing properties worth over Rs.250 crore besides agricultural land in his home district Allahabad, Mr. Misra has been charged with acquiring properties worth Rs.360 crore, the officials said.

The Lokayukta had sent a letter to the Chief Minister's Office on September 22 asking what action had been taken in this connection but no reply has been received.

The Lokayukta took the action against Mr. Tripathi on a complaint filed by Ram Lali, wife of Bhadohi MLA Vijay Misra of the Samajwadi Party. Mr. Misra, an accused in the attack on State Minister Nand Gopal Nandi, is currently absconding and the Mayawati Government has announced a cash reward of Rs.2.5 lakh on him. The whereabouts of Ms. Lali are also not known.

The complaint against Mr. Rangnath was filed by one Swami Nath Misra, they said.

The Lokayukta, Justice N. K. Mehrotra, admitted that there are complaints against the two ministers and letters have been sent to them for preliminary inquiry. - PTI

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