After downgrade,baffled Ambika still hopeful

Cabinet minister Ambika Choudhary said he had no information that he will be a loser in the reshuffle

Written by Faisal Fareed | Lucknow | Published: July 30, 2013 4:29 am

A day after he was stripped of Revenue,Relief and Rehabilitation portfolios and given the less important Backward Class Welfare and Handicapped Welfare Departments,cabinet minister Ambika Choudhary said he had no information that he will be a loser in the reshuffle. He also said he was hopeful of a new role from the SP leadership.

“I had no information and got the news through media. What led to this development is not known to me. The portfolio change has meaning for other people,but absolutely not for me,” Choudhary said Monday.

Choudhary felt there could be some political reason behind change of portfolios. “There has been similar situation in the past when it was projected that my position is being undermined. But ultimately I proved myself,” he said.

Despite the downgrade,however,Choudhary is still hopeful of some responsibility from the SP leadership. “I am sure some new duty may be assigned to me in future. This situation will not remain the same. I am the most,most obedient follower of (Samajwadi Party president) Mulayam Singh Yadav and (Chief Minister) Akhilesh Yadav and will remain with their every decision and never feel disappointed,” he said.

On his new portfolio,Choudhary said the government runs on collective responsibility. “Earlier also,I had one department but used to work in association with many departments. Now also I will continue to work in a similar manner. It hardly matters which department I am looking after,” he stated.

Choudhary is regarded close to Mulayam. He was inducted by Akhilesh in his ministry on March 15 last year despite losing the Assembly elections. He was made minister and allotted revenue,relief and rehabilitation and public administration departments,which he held during the previous Mulayam regime. He was also nominated as Member of Legislative Council.

But when he lost his Assembly seat,Kopachit in Ballia,after holding it for 19 years,the Opposition raised its voice. Amid all this,Choudhary lost support from within his own party and Narad Rai,the legislator who is reported to be against him,was inducted as cabinet minister. Ballia MP Neeraj Shekhar,too,does not share a good equation with Choudhary. There were also reports of Choudhary’s family members being on a land purchasing spree.

Choudhary denies the charges. “There is no truth in them and are just rumours,” he said.

On the other hand,BJP MLA Upendra Rai,who had defeated Choudhary,thanked Mulayam for taking away the important portfolio. “I welcome the decision taken by Akhilesh and Mulayam. Ambika had unleashed a reign of terror and corruption in the district. I am not personally against him but hope he will learn from this step and mend his ways,” Upendra Rai stated.

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