Sleaze and sex scandal in Meerut has landed the Rashtriya Lok Dal in a predicament. With two senior leaders caught in sex CD trap of Dr Kavita Rani, the party leadership has launched damage control exercise in the run up to assembly election.
The timing of the expose has certainly caused consternation in the party in western UP where it has been struggling to keep its base intact. It is for this reason the RLD president Chaudhury Ajit Singh swiftly acted by sacking the tainted minister Chaudhury Babulal. Another party leader Dr Mairajuddin Ahmad, who was Irrigation Minister, announced his decision to quit the party.
However, there is a feeling in the party that Dr Ahmad was soft target in the scam. Even a senior RLD minister told Hindustan Times, "It is indeed unbelievable that Dr Ahmad would land in such a trouble." There are thus sympathetic voices in RLD for Dr Ahmad.
But the minister said the RLD had taken action against its leaders and it was now time for the Samajwadi Party leadership to take similar move against Basic Education Minister Kiran Pal Singh whose name had also appeared in the scandal. The SP has adopted stoic silence on the issue.
Talking to Hindustan Times on phone from Meerut the Teachers group leader in Vidhan Parishad Om Prakash Sharma said resentment was brewing among Muslims against RLD and local police for framing up of Dr Ahmad in the scam. The people in Meerut burnt effigy of Kavita's killer Ravindra Pradhan who had taken name of Dr Ahmad in sex scam.
Sharma said it could turn out to be Muslims versus RLD in Meerut region. Om Prakash said the case was unlikely to be solved without interrogation of the two ministers - one of them Babulal has already resigned.
Amid demands of CBI probe, the Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav has firmly ruled out CBI investigation. Suspended SP MLA and Jan Morcha leader Brijendra Pratap Singh, whose name has also cropped up in the case, has also said that Kiran Pal Singh had introduced Dr Kavita Rani to him.