Businessman Abhishek Gupta had on Thursday accused Principal Secretary SP Goyal of asking for a bribe of Rs 25 lakh from him to sanction a petrol pump project. Gupta later retracted the charges saying he had lost his mental balance.
Lucknow: Hours after being held for accusing CM Yogi Adityanath’s Principal Secretary of demanding bribe, complainant Abhishek Gupta took a U-turn to retract the charges and issued a video statement, saying he had “lost his mental balance”.
Gupta had on Thursday accused Secretary SP Goyal of asking for a bribe of Rs 25 lakh from him to sanction a petrol pump project.
On Friday afternoon the Lucknow resident was detained on charges of fraud right before he was supposed to address a press conference.
His denial has now prompted many to speculate if 22-year-old Gupta was coerced into changing his stance. He recorded the statement while still in police custody.
In police custody since afternoon, for “interrogation and ascertaining of his charges”, the businessman who claimed to have taken a loan of Rs 1 crore to set up a petrol pump at Hardoi, said he “was upset and had lost his mental balance after the senior IAS official trashed his file despite completion of all formalities”.
According to IANS, in the video that surfaced on social media, where he is being prompted by an officer in the background, Gupta is seen saying that he had met Goyal for clearance of his file but the officer put some queries, which despite being sent back from the district administration were not entertained by the Principal Secretary.
Meanwhile, opposition parties tore into the BJP government for allegedly trying to victimise and intimidate the complainant who had come up with bribery charges against the CM’s principal secretary.
Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav said it was sad that under the watch of the government, people coming up with complaints were being targeted rather than investigating the matter.
Yadav also demanded a CBI probe into the allegations leveled against the top bureaucrat.
The Congress also lashed out at the BJP government. Party spokesperson Krishna Kant Pandey demanded that Goyal be removed and a sitting judge of the high court investigate the allegations levelled against the official.