Gayatri Prasad Prajapati, a first time MLA from the Congress stronghold of Amethi, is set to be re-inducted into the state cabinet within a week of Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav sacking him along with another minister — Raj Kishore Singh — allegedly on complaints of corruption.
Why is Prajapati back in the government despite such charges and accusations of land grabbing in the past? Party sources reply because he is close to Netaji (Mulayam), he has money power and he belongs to the Most Backward Caste (MBC). Many party leaders also feel that Prajapati’s growing stature in the Akhilesh government and his re-induction could be because of his closeness to Mulayam’s other son Prateek Yadav.
Akhilesh has no real affection for Prajapati as he has been a constant source of embarrassment to the government but notwithstanding this, Prajapati is taking oath for the fourth time-in the single term of any government which is a rare occurrence.
Prajpati began as minister of state for irrigation in February 2013 where he was overshadowed by cabinet minster Shivpal Yadav. In July 2013, he was elevated to Minister of State (Independent charge) and allocated the Mining department. He took oath for the third time in January 2014 when elevated to cabinet rank with the charge of mining ministry.
Prajapati found himself in the eye of the storm recently after the Allahabad High Court ordered a CBI probe into allegations of irregularities in the mining department. After Akhilesh Yadav sacked him last week, Prajapati rushed to Delhi to meet Mulayam Singh. With the party catapulted into a crisis after Mulayam had replaced Akhilesh with Shivpal as party state president and Akhilesh had stripped Shivpal of key portfolios, Prajapati was the first person to meet Mulayam Singh last Wednesday morning, apparently lobbying for his re-induction in the government.