Uttar Pradesh governor Ram Naik has complained to Yogi Adityanath that the chief minister’s principal secretary SP Goel has allegedly been demanding Rs 25 lakh as bribe to provide land for road widening to set up a petrol pump in Hardoi.

In his letter dated April 30, 2018, which HT has accessed, the governor has brought to the CM’s notice the problem being faced by the complainant Abhishek Gupta in getting additional land for setting up a petrol pump.

‘Mr Gupta says that the principal secretary to chief minister, SP Goel, is demanding Rs 25 lakh to provide land for broadening of the main road and he is not able to set up the petrol pump due to delay in decision on the representation. I am sending Mr Abhishek Gupta’s letter to you for appropriate action,’ said Naik in his letter to Adityanath.

‘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. 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,’ the governor wrote.

When contacted, Naik confirmed that he had, indeed, sent the letter. ‘Whatever complaints I get, I forward them to the respective minister. I have been following this practice about all types of complaints. As this case pertained to the chief minister, I forwarded the complaint to him,’ Naik said.

Goel, a 1989 batch IAS officer, has worked on important posts at the Centre and in the state government, maintains a low profile and has so far remained non-controversial. Appointed principal secretary to the chief minister after Adityanath formed the government, Goel rubbished the allegations.

‘This is ridiculous. I received the file only after the governor’s letter was received. I recused myself, did not deal with the case and informed the chief minister about the same,’ said Goel. ‘I am not aware of any decision taken on the issue.’

An official spokesman refused to comment on the issue.