The state government Wednesday dismissed the chairman of UP Liquor Prohibition Board after an alleged clip of him threatening and abusing senior officials of Baghpat district went viral on social media.
Kuldeep Ujjwal, who is also the Samajwadi Party’s Baghpat candidate for the Assembly polls next year, however alleged conspiracy and claimed that the said audio clip is “doctored”.
While Principal Secretary (Information) Navneet Sehgal confirmed that Ujjwal has been dismissed on the orders of the Chief Minister, the official did not elaborate on the reasons behind the move.
In the clip, Ujjwal allegedly threatened District Panchayati Raj officer (DPRO) Sarvesh Kumar Pandey for ignoring his diktats and also used abusive language for Baghpat’s District Magistrate H S Tiwari. He is allegedly heard telling Pandey that he holds “a rank of minister” and would “teach them a lesson”.
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The DPRO, meanwhile, wrote to Principal Secretary (Panchayati Raj) Chanchal Tiwari seeking his transfer fearing “threat to (his) life”.
Clarifying his stand, Ujjwal told The Indian Express, “I feel sad because no one from the party spoke to me before taking such a drastic step. It is a conspiracy against me. I doubt the authenticity of the audio clip being circulated in the social media. No one has complained that I threatened them. The clip has been doctored and it should be investigated.”
He alleged that the district-level officers were “holding back funds” of gram pradhans and claimed that he was “only raising the voice of locals”.
He denied that he used abusive language or threatened any official.
DPRO Pandey said, “It was for the first time that such a threat has come from him (Ujjwal). Since he also abused the DM, I reported the matter to him. After the action against him though, I fear threat to my life. I have written to the DM and the Panchayati Raj Department to provide me security and transfer me to some other place”.
Pandey claimed that the minister wanted two of his men to be made village secretaries, an allegation which Ujjwal denied.
The DM did not respond to calls for his comments.