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HindustanTimes Fri,01 Aug 2014

Colleagues who spelt trouble for the chief minister

HT Correspondent  Lucknow, March 15, 2013
First Published: 11:08 IST(15/3/2013) | Last Updated: 11:11 IST(15/3/2013)

Even as chief minister Akhilesh Yadav made hectic efforts to maintain a clean image of the government during the last one year, some of his ministers had been in the news for all the wrong reasons.

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In fact, a row had erupted at the time of the installation of the ministry on March 15, 2012 when most of the old faces of the previous Mulayam Singh Yadav government (2003-07), including some with questionable pasts, were inducted into the cabinet. But the real embarrassment came when some of the ministers came under sharp public scrutiny.

The latest in the series was independent MLA from Kunda Raghuraj Pratap Singh alias Raja Bhaiyya. Out of the cabinet on the charges of hatching a conspiracy to kill Kunda circle officer Zia-ul-Haque, he is now under the CBI scanner.

Commenting on Raghuraj's exit from the cabinet, leader of opposition Swami Prasad Maurya said he failed to understand why the SP had inducted an independent MLA (Raja Bhaiyya) into the cabinet when the party had won the full majority. It was in fact SP's caste calculation that forced his induction.

Another minister of state Vinod Singh alias Pandit Singh, SP MLA from Gonda, too had created trouble for the government.

Accused of kidnapping of a chief medical officer in Gonda, the minister had to resign in October 2012 but was re-inducted in February this year. Giving clean chit to Pandit Singh, SP general secretary Ramgopal Yadav had then told the newsmen, "His removal was wrong and by re-inducting him a wrong has been rectified."

Similarly, the sexist comments of khadi minister Raja Ram Pandey against the Sultanpur district magistrate is yet to blow over as the national women's commission has issued a notice to him. Earlier this week, the Pratapgarh police registered an FIR against his supporters for kidnapping some panchayat members.

Two ministers namely Moolchand Chauhan and Manoj Paras were booked by the Uttarakhand police for the alleged kidnapping of 28 persons, including 18 members of the Bijnor zila panchayat, in January 2013 during the Bijnor district panchayat chairman election.

According to the FIR, the men were abducted from Rishkesh's Shiva resort early on January 18. The SP leaders named also included parliamentarian Yashvir Singh. However, the ministers had denied the allegations.

Moreover, minister of state for agriculture Rajiv Kumar Singh had accused his cabinet minister Anand Singh for large-scale bungling in the seed purchase that led to major controversy last month.


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