In a massive blow to the Samajwadi Party, former CM Akhilesh Yadav is likely to face a CBI probe in a case of illegal sand mining. According to the CBI sources, all those who were ministers during the relevant period will also be investigated. The CBI conducted raids at 14 locations in connection with an FIR lodged against 11 persons including IAS officer B Chandrakala, Samajwadi Party MLC Ramesh Kumar Mishra and Sanjay Dixit (who had lost 2017 assembly elections on a BSP ticket). The allegations are that some government officials along with some individuals violated rules and regulations and allocated some illegal mining sites in the period 2012-16. The agency conducted these raids to investigate the allegations of illegal mining of minor minerals in the Hamirpur district. The FIR stated that Chandrakala, a 2008 batch IAS officer who was the district magistrate of the Hamirpur district during 2012-14 had allegedly violated the e-tender system of allotting mining contracts in the district. The FIR said, “The role of the then mining ministers concerned during the relevant period may be looked into during the course of the investigation of the case.”
Additional information about this Akhilesh Yadav era scam has now emerged. According to a My Nation report, a senior journalist is supposed to have played the role of a middle-man in the mining scam. Mainstream media journalists have often played the role of fixers, using their influence in the corridors of power to line up their own pockets.
This Akhilesh Yadav era mining scam might well turn out to have its own Radia Gate, just like the 2G scam. During the UPA era, the Radia tapes had emerged, and they ad sent a chill down the spines of those who consume news in India. Many well-known faces who had been trusted by the public for decades, who’s television reporting and print articles were read by a large number of people, stood exposed. The mainstream media’s credibility took a turn for the worst, and arguably, it has never been able to redeem itself ever since. Faces and names which people trusted were found to be third-rate fixers, pushing deals and lobbying both for corporate world and within the political class itself.
The My Nation report states that the journalist who was involved in lobbying in the mining scam is a Delhi-based editor of a Hindi daily. However, there might be other journalists involved in the lobbying as well. Sources have told us that the ace journalist of an online portal, who was earlier associated with a financial daily and is known to have used her position to push the interests of a regional party, might have also acted a middle-man in this scam. However, rightlog.in is not in a position to verify the veracity of these claims.
The media is supposed to function as the fourth pillar of democracy. This important responsibility entails to keeping a check on those in power, and speaking truth to power. However, time and again, the fourth estate has acted as an extension of the political class. It has functioned as a propaganda tool, and as a tool to advance the interests of the political class in various ways. The mainstream media therefore, which is supposed to keep the political class on its toes, might well need some kind of baby-sitting agency which keeps the mainstream media itself in check too.
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