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Despite change in portfolio,Minister Ajay Yadav stands by his views

Haryana Power Minister Captain Ajay Yadav,who was divested of his charge as the finance minister Tuesday,today said he would not be “cowed down” by the move and “talk to the party high command” about the change in his portfolio.

Written by Chitleen K Sethi | Chandigarh |
June 16, 2011 3:19:05 am

Haryana Power Minister Captain Ajay Yadav,who was divested of his charge as the finance minister Tuesday,today said he would not be “cowed down” by the move and “talk to the party high command” about the change in his portfolio.

Captain Ajay Yadav told The Indian Express he stands by his views on the issues which might have led to the change.

Yadav had made his unhappiness over the state’s land acquisition policy public and even written to Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda about it. He had suggested that the policy be revised in a manner that it is pro- farmer.

“It is the chief minister’s prerogative to change portfolios but I intend to talk to the party high command about this. I am not going to be cowed down by this. My views on the land acquisition policy and the other issues including the one regarding the appointment of the chairman of the Haryana Pollution Control Board remain the same,” he said.

Captain Yadav,who is also the environment minister,had objected to the appointment of AS Chahal—a close confidant of the chief minister—as the chairman of the board in January 2008. Later Yadav pressed for his retirement in March this year following the end of his three-year term.

Ignoring Yadav’s objections,Chahal’s term was extended up to November this year.

The former power minister,Rao Mahender Pratap Singh who was made the revenue minister,said he accepted the decision of the chief minister.

“He is like the elder in the house who distributes tasks to the family members. If he feels that I would be better equipped to do this work,it is fine with me. Why he changed the portfolios is something he only can answer,” he said.

Sources point out that the downgrading of Mahender Pratap Singh’s portfolio is probably the result of his having raised the “touchy” land acquisition policy issue during a recent cabinet meeting.

Mahender Pratap Singh had during the meeting suggested that a cabinet sub-committee be constituted to revise the policy. Keeping in view the high prices of land in the open market,he had suggested a model by which the land owning farmer gets an ample share in the development that takes place on his land.

However,no move was made by the chief minister to accept this view or even consider reviewing the current policy.

Interestingly,the model suggested by Mahender Pratap Singh during the meeting was implemented recently by the Uttar Pradesh government.

Political analysts add that while the change in portfolios of the two senior non-Jat leaders within the cabinet is a bid by Hooda to curtail voices of dissent within the cabinet,the move is also being seen as a deliberate attempt to weaken the non-Jat leaders within the party.

Sources further state that weakening of the non-Jat voice in the party could sound the death knell of the Congress in the state as the party’s major vote base was among the non-Jats. The Jat voters were considered to be squarely with the Indian National Lok Dal led by the Chautalas.

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