UP PWD minister Shivpal Singh Yadav’s reported statement that diligent officers could take the liberty of stealing created a furore on Friday, forcing the senior Samajwadi Party leader to issue a denial.
Addressing a closed-door meeting of officers at the district planning committee in Etah on Thursday, the minister, who is CM Akhilesh Yadav’s uncle, allegedly told them that if they were working hard for the welfare of the people, they could resort to “theft but not dacoity”.
However, after his reported remark created a storm in the political circles, Yadav on Friday launched an attack on the media, accused it of “sneaking into the closed-door” meeting.
At a hurriedly convened press conference, he said the media had taken his comment out of context. “Only part of the comment was publicised,” a visibly upset Shivpal said.
“There was a free and frank discussion on corruption at the meeting. We were talking about how to stop large-scale corruption in all the departments.” “It is a case for the Press Council of India.” The opposition blasted Shivpal for his remark and the BJP even asked for his resignation.
UP Congress president Rita Bahuguna Joshi said there was corruption in the state government and any such suggestion would further worsen the situation.