Within days of Congress president Sonia Gandhi asking Prime Minister Manmohan Singh t o ensure fair t reatment to suspended IAS officer Durga Shakti Nagpal, chief minister Akhilesh Yadav on Wednesday conducted surprise inspections in her Rae Bareli Lok Sabha constituency.
During the inspections, he ordered suspension of two food department officers – district supply officer (DSO) Vidya Ram Ahirwar, district supply inspector Sushil Chandra Bajpai —and transferred district basic education officer Gyanendra Pratap Singh Bhadauria for ‘dereliction of duty’.
Much significance is being attached to chief minister’s decision to choose Rae Bareli for his first surprise inspection as it came in the midst of raging controversy over suspension of Nagpal.
“Rae Bareli has been the Gandhi family bastion. It is the Lok Sabha constituency of Congress president Sonia Gandhi. Yet this area remains backward. The chief minister obviously went there to make an assessment of the ground realities there,” said minister for food and civil supplies Rajendra Chaudhary, who accompanied the chief minister. Although Rae Bareli is Sonia Gandhi’s Lok Sabha constituency, the Congress has no representation in the assembly while Samajwadi Party has four of the five seats in the constituency.
The Samajwadi Party has been strengthening its organisation and have promoted Amethi MLA Gayatri Prasad Prajapati to minister of state (independent charge) position recently.
The chief minister chose to visit village — Rain — one of the 10,000 villages being developed under the Lohia Integrated Village Development Scheme. He visited a school and interacted with students of Class 7.
He asked them to spell “elephant” - the election symbol of the Bahujan Samaj Party — and when students failed to do so, the chief minister said the failure reflected on the way students were being taught in the school.
A senior officer accompanying him, however, said no political motive should be attributed to the chief minister’s visit and his interaction with the students there. Rain was the nearest Lohia village and so he chose to come here,” he said.
The officer said chief minister was satisfied with implementation of various development schemes in the Lohia village.
“However, he was not happy with the condition of toilets in the school and the functioning of the public distribution shop in the village,” claimed the officer.
The chief minister also held a ‘chaupal’ in the village and assured the villagers that development work would be stepped up and solar lights would be installed in the Lohia villages in the state.
Chief minister is also learnt to have agreed to his party’s Bachchrawan MLA Ramlal Akela’s demand to make the Bachchrawan a town area.