Uttar Pradesh minister Rajesh Tripathi was on Saturday dropped from Mayawati's council of ministers after the state Lokayukta accused him of collecting money on the dead through an NGO run by him.
"On the request of the chief minister, Governor B L Joshi has divested Tripathi from the post of minister of state," an official release said here this evening.
Though no reason was cited for the sudden removal of the minister of state for Homoeopathy and Religious Endownment, the move comes after Uttar Pradesh Lokayukta asked Tripathi to either step down from the post or relinquish chairmanship of the society that runs an illegal crematorium in Gorakhpur.
In a report submitted to Chief Minister Mayawati, the Lokayukta said the minister, through his NGO Mukti Path Sewa Sansthan, encroached upon 1.219 hectares of central government's Narcotics department at Chillupar and collected money on the bodies that came for cremation, sources said.
The income from the shops constructed by him on the land was also going in the NGO's account, they said.
The Lokayukta in his report dated December 23 also asked the government to check the activities of the NGO.
Stating that income from the government land cannot be credited to the account of a person, the Lokayukta suggested the state could take the land on lease from union government and hand it over to various departments for development.
The report said the local authorities worked under pressure of the minister and did not take steps to vacate the land.