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Taj scare for CM

Lucknow, Aug. 22: Mayavati says she has nothing to hide, but yesterday’s Supreme Court order to the CBI to interrogate “four to five important (government) officers” in the Taj corridor scam has left the chief minister worried.

Mayavati spent the entire day today discussing with her senior bureaucrats how to control the damage and kept hoping the CBI would not question her. There was no word on what transpired at the meeting at the secretariat annexe.

Sources close to the chief minister have dismissed the Opposition’s accusation that she had ordered work on the Taj heritage corridor. But they concede the CBI may grill chief secretary D.S. Bagga as well as principal secretary P.L. Punia and environment minister Naseemuddin Siddiqui.

Legal experts here say the apex court’s order suggests the CBI interim report on the scam has left no doubt who is responsible for the controversial project.

They feel the state government’s role is now under the scanner and the court wants the CBI to interrogate bigwigs who could not be questioned by the junior bureau officers involved in preliminary investigations.

Bagga, who heads the mission management board, and R.K. Sharma, who was then the principal secretary, environment, are certain to be questioned.

Punia may be interrogated since there is a document bearing his signature and the comment, “mukhyamantri ne anumodit kiya (the chief minister has approved this)”.

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