LOOKING TO spruce up the image of his government ahead of the Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Monday sacked two ministers, reportedly over charges of corruption, even as the Opposition termed the exercise “an eyewash”.
Mining Minister Gayatri Prajapati and Panchayati Raj Minister Raj Kishor Singh were dismissed from the Cabinet within an hour. Singh was also stripped of the charge of minor irrigation and animal husbandry.
Prajapati, a first-time MLA from Amethi, had a meteoric rise in the SP government. Akhilesh, sources said, was unhappy with Prajapati as he was facing allegations of sheltering illegal mining.
While he could not be reached for comments on Monday, Prajapati had earlier denied the allegations.
Singh said he was not aware of the reason behind his ouster. “I will reach Lucknow Tuesday and talk to the CM,” he told The Indian Express. Sources said there had been reports of anomalies in his departments and that he had not managed to rectify them.
“Our party has been raising the issue of illegal mining. The decision should have been taken earlier,” BJP state general secretary Vijay Bahadur Pathak said.