From a rosary seller to a functionary in Uttarakhand with minister of state rank to hawking toys and bangles -- this has been the career of Ramesh Niranjan, a Dalit and Congress politician who has been a victim of ‘dirty politics’.
Ramesh, 50, who belongs to a family of agriculturists and Congress supporters in Jhansi, moved to Haridwar in 1980. He became chairman of the Sugarcane Development Advisory Committee with minister of state rank when ND Tiwari was chief minister (2002-07).
However, after serving in the post for 11 months, he had to face a conspiracy, hatched by some of his adversaries, and was dismissed in December 2006 for alleged corruption.
Niranjan had suspended 33 workers at the Ganna Vikas Samiti, a sugarcane cooperative. This had irked higher officials. “During my inspection, 33 workers were found absent for no valid reason. So I suspended them.”
“Due to some senior minister’s grudge, I was removed. As I had taken the pledge to serve society, I even spent my own money to visit people and resolve their issues.”
He has not been reimbursed for the expenses he incurred while being in government. “I was promised reimbursement (for Rs. 10-12 lakh) but it never materialised.” Following this, he started his own kiosk and in a way returned to his earlier trade.