Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Thursday restored the charge of Meerut to Minorities Welfare Minister Azam Khan,defusing the crisis which was created by Khan’s protest action in relinquishing the charge of Ghaziabad and Muzaffarnagar districts,and saying that Yadav could even drop him from the Cabinet if he liked.
The necessary order was issued by the Planning Department and reached Khan’s office in the evening,sources said.
Exactly a week ago,the Chief Minister had taken the charge of Meerut from Khan,who is number 2 in the Cabinet,and given it to Panchayati Raj Minister Balram Yadav following complaints that Khan was promoting factionalism in the party in Meerut. In place of Meerut,Khan was given the charge of Pilibhit.
Khan took the change as a personal slight and wrote a letter to the Chief Minister,relinquishing the charge of the other districts.
SP president Mulayam Singh Yadav,who was in Lucknow,was reportedly annoyed over the development. When asked to comment over the controversy on Thursday morning,he retorted: Yes,both (Akhilesh and Azam Khan) are at daggers drawn. They are fighting with lathis and swords,is it fine?
Attempts to bury the controversy began soon. The Chief Minister said in Kanpur,These are small things withing the party. If Azam Khan is angry we will pacify him. It is not such a big incident and has been blown out of proportion.