Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Saturday evening removed nearly 82 Samajwadi Party leaders who were enjoying the minister of state (MoS) status since 2012. The sacked leaders were appointed as advisors in various departments and chairmen of various corporations and commissions.
Earlier, Akhilesh had sacked 32 SP leaders holding MoS status after the party’s rout in the Lok Sabha elections. Six of them were, however, reinstated later.
All these leaders were given the MoS status following lobbying and recommendations from various quarters, including senior political leaders and religious leaders. They also got salaries of an MoS, accommodation in Lucknow and other perks.
“I can tell you the reason for their removal after consulting the leadership, it is surprising why such a decision has been taken,” SP spokesperson Rajendra Choudhary said.
The state government has released a list of 16 persons who have not been removed from their posts. They include those from constitutional bodies as commissions — minority, backward, women, selection and recruitment, planning and SC/ST.
Akhilesh’s close aide Javed Abedi has been retained as Chairman of UP Pollution Control Board. Literary bodies such as Bhasha Sansthan headed by Gopal Das Neeraj and Hindi Sansthan by Uday Pratap Singh have not been touched.
Socialist ideologue Janeshwar Mishra’s brother Tarkeshwar Mishra, too, retains his post as chairman of UP State Agro Industrial Corporation Ltd.
Former journalist Farzand Ahmed, too, saved his post of advisor to Vocational Education while Azam Khan’s close aide Nawaz Deobandi continues as Chairman of Urdu Academy.
The party’s Lok Sabha candidates had lodged strong protests before SP president Mulayam Singh Yadav and Akhilesh over the role of these leaders with MoS status.
Further, the SP office had reportedly received complaints about misuse of power by these leaders enjoying MoS status. Some cabinet ministers, too, had lodged their protest over “undue interference” of advisors in their departments.
Recently, during a meeting at SP office, Mulayam had expressed his concern over “non-performance” of these leaders.
Sources in SP, however, claimed that the party leadership will not be able to sustain its decision for long and that many of them would be reinstated soon.