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Cabinet minister Om Prakash Rajbhar has announced a protest at the Ghazipur Collectorate campus on July 4 to demand the transfer a local district magistrate (DM). This comes despite Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s repeated appeals to his party leaders, workers and allies to not hold protests regarding any issue. State minister for backward class welfare, Rajbhar is national president of Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP), an ally of the BJP, and MLA from Zahoorabad in Ghazipur.
He has alleged that Ghazipur District Magistrate Sanjay Kumar Khatri did not cognizance of his requests regarding problems faced by locals. He also complained that the local administration was not redressing the grievances of the common man. Speaking to The Indian Express, Rajbhar said that the one-day dharna on July 4 may be extended indefinitely if the state did not transfer the Khatri.
“I have written to DM as a minister in the past three months asking to resolve the land related issues of general public. I talked to him over the phone too. But DM did not pay heed,” said Rajbhar and added that the present Ghazipur DM of Ghazipur was posted there since around 20 months. “This DM is working on his own will. He suspended an official in the district and posted him back at the same place a few days later,” he said.
When asked about CM’s appeal to workers of ruling parties not to stage dharna and agitations, Rajbhar said, “What other option is left in democratic set up if the genuine issues are not redressed.” He added that he had met CM Adityanath over the same issue on June 27 and before that he had met BJP state general secretary (organisation) Sunil Bansal on June 25.
When contacted, Ghazipur DM Sanjay Kumar Khatri refused to comment. In a public meeting in Varanasi on Sunday said that his government would follow the spirit of alliance. The Jan Swambhiman Rally was organised by Apna Dal (Sonelal). Apna Dal MP and Union MoS for Family Welfare Anupriya Patel presided over that rally.
While Apna Dal (SP) spokesperson Arvind Sharma claimed that all senior SBSP leaders were invited in the public meeting in capacity of alliance partners with BJP in the state government, Om Prakash Rajbhar skipped the meeting and gave reason that he was not invited there. Another MLA of his party Kailash Sonkar of Ajagara attended the public meeting.