Uttarakhand minister in ‘tight spot’ over husband’s act; opposition wants her to quit
Uttarakhand minister Rekha Arya is engulfed in a controversy after a domestic help accused the BJP leader’s husband of going back on his promise to give a house and handsome money for a kidneydehradun Updated: Oct 15, 2017 19:56 IST
Uttarakhand minister Rekha Arya is engulfed in a controversy after a domestic help accused the BJP leader’s husband of going back on his promise to give a house and handsome money for a kidney.
Sources said on Sunday the allegation put a question mark on Arya’s career as the Opposition is already mounting pressure on her to resign from the state cabinet.
The accusation was brought by Naresh Gangwar, a man from Uttar Pradesh’s Bareilly, who worked at the house of Arya’s spouse Girdharilal Sahu.
Gangwar alleged in a letter to police that the politician’s husband took him to Sri Lanka in June 2015 and transplanted his kidney on his first wife, Vaijyanti Mala. Sahu didn’t keep his part of the bargain, he said.
Sahu, however, denied the charge.
“Certainly, the BJP minister might end up losing her job if the crime is proved. Although she seems not to be directly or indirectly linked with the kidney transplant but she carries moral obligation,” said Jay Singh Rawat, a Doon-based political analyst.
Indresh Maikhuri, a state committee member of CPI-ML, said: “Police should immediately arrest Sahu, a criminal and the BJP, which speaks volumes on cleanliness, must sack his wife Rekha Arya from the ministry.” The main opposition Congress demanded a high-level inquiry into the matter.
BJP leaders are mum on the issue since they find it hard to defend the minister owing to seriousness of the crime. “The minister’s fate depends on the party’s central leadership,” a BJP office bearer said demanding anonymity.
Arya, who holds women empowerment portfolio, chose not to comment on the issue. “I am into politics. My husband has his own work... Sahuji will be in a better position to comment on this,” she said on Saturday.
Sahu, who has more than two dozen cases registered against him in Bareilly, Udham Singh Nagar and Haldwani, had put Arya in a tight situation in the past, too.
A few months ago, Arya entered into a verbal spat with Almora district magistrate Savin Bansal, who had said he would not come under pressure to dilute the cases of the minister’s husband. Bansal was transferred from Almora a few weeks after the spat.
When asked, Sahu said this was a case of Gangwar’s greed.
“All procedures for kidney transplant were followed and Naresh, who is a relative of my (first) wife, had voluntarily agreed to donate his kidney. He is now taking advantage and levelling charges against me for monetary gains,” said Sahu.
Gangwar, however, said it was a case of cheating. “I was never apprised about the kidney transplant and was told that I needed to give blood for Vaijanti Mala.
“I thought that it was a blood transfusion and I woke up after 48 hours with stitches and post surgical pains, I was cheated and it was not a voluntary decision to donate my kidney,” Gangwar told HT on Sunday.
Based on Gangwar’s letter to him, Senior Superintendent of Police Janmejay Khanduri set up a probe under Haldwani inspector KR Pandey.
Anti-human trafficking activist Gyanendra Kumar told HT: “It was a clear case of human trafficking defined in the section 370 of Indian Penal Code. The person was lured, moved inside India and finally kidney was transplanted in Sri Lanka. But the fact that crime was held in Sri Lanka doesn’t lessen the crime.” (With input from Anupam Trivedi in Dehradun)