Friday, Sep 19, 2014

Akhilesh sacks two ministers, cites ‘suspicious activities’

Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Sunday sacked two ministers from his cabinet citing 'suspicious activities'. (Reuters) Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Sunday sacked two ministers from his cabinet citing 'suspicious activities'. (Reuters)
Express News Service | Lucknow | Posted: March 10, 2014 4:09 am | Updated: March 10, 2014 9:49 am

Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Sunday sacked Anand Kumar Singh and Manoj Paras from his cabinet citing their “suspicious activities” –  six days after Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav warned UP ministers to “mend” their ways or lose their job.

“Both have been removed from the state cabinet because of their suspicious activities in view of the parliamentary polls,” said Rajendra Chaudhary, Samajwadi Party’s state spokesperson and cabinet minister for Prisons.

While Singh was cabinet minister for agriculture, agriculture education and research and religious affairs, Paras was minister of state for stamp and court fee, registration and civil defence.

The Agriculture department would be looked after by the CM while the departments held by Paras would remain with cabinet minister Mahendra Aridaman Singh, sources said.

Chaudhary, however, said the duo have not been sacked from the party so far. Singh is an MLA from Gaura constituency in Gonda while Paras is party legislator from Bijnor’s Nagina assembly constituency.

Though no other reason has been cited by the government for sacking of these ministers, party sources said that Mulayam was unhappy with Singh’s son and two term MP Kirtivardhan Singh joining BJP earlier this week. The SP had announced Kirtivardhan’s candidature from Gonda, but later replaced him with local party MLA Nandita Shukla. An embarrassed Anand Singh was heard targeting the BJP during a recent function at the CM’s residence to prove his loyalty.

Kirtivardhan had left SP after he was denied a ticket in 2009 and contested as a BSP candidate, but returned to SP during the 2012 Assembly elections. On Saturday, he had launched an attack on Mulayam, accusing him of propagating dynastic politics. He had even alleged that he had to pay a “bribe” of Rs 5,000 to meet Mulayam when latter was the Chief Minister though he was a party MP, a charge denied by the Samajwadi Party. “In 2004, when Yadav was CM, I had to give Rs 5,000 packet to his personal secretary to meet him in the capacity of MP,” Singh, said.

Sources said Paras faced the party flak after SP’s Lok Sabha candidate from Nagina constituency Yashveer Singh reportedly alleged that he was campaigning against him in the region. Paras was also an accused in a gangrape case, which the state government had withdrawn last year in December. The decision was sent to the Bijnor district court for approval, where it is still pending. In 2006, a 34-year-old woman had alleged that Paras, who was then a local SP leader, had called her to his home saying he wanted to help her husband with his business work. She alleged Paras raped her in his house. She had named three others – Jaipal, Anshu and Kunwar Saini – in the case.

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