A businessman who had accused Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath’s Principal Secretary SP Goel of demanding a bribe, retracted his statement after the police detained him for eight hours on Friday. A video released by state government officials showed Abhishek Gupta explaining that he made the allegations against Goel “after losing his mental balance”, the Hindustan Times reported.
The Lucknow Police detained the complainant before his press conference at the city’s Press Club. Lucknow Senior Superintendent of Police Deepak Kumar said Gupta was taken into custody for “defaming the state government and levelling false allegations against the principal secretary”.The police said Gupta’s detention was based on a complaint by state BJP headquarters chief Bharat Dixit, who claimed that the businessman was “misusing the names of senior party leaders”.
Gupta, a Lucknow resident, had accused the principal secretary of demanding Rs 25 lakh as bribe to sanction land for road widening. The matter came to light when a letter Governor Ram Naik wrote to Adityanath was leaked. The chief minister ordered an inquiry to determine the “factual position” in the allegations against Goel.
“Mr Abhishek Gupta, resident of 24, Prakash Lok, Indira Nagar, Lucknow has informed me, through a letter dated April 18, 2018 on email, that he proposed to set up petrol pump sanctioned by Essar Oil Limited in Resso village of Sandila tehsil, Hardoi,” Naik wrote in his letter dated April 30. “As the main road to connect the petrol pump is narrow, a representation given to provide necessary land is pending at the level of principal secretary to chief minister.”