Sunday, May 18, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


M A I N   N E W S

Mayawati sacks Tripathi
Opposition demands CBI inquiry
Tribune Reporters

Lucknow, May 17
The controversial Uttar Pradesh minister Amar Mani Tripathi, whose alleged relationship with a murdered poetess caused much embarrassment to the government, was sacked from the ministry today.

The Chief Minister, Ms Mayawati said in a press conference that the case had been handed over to the Crime Branch of the CID (CBCID) and it had been asked to submit its report within a month.

The government also ordered the transfer of the Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Lucknow, Mr Anil Kumar Aggarwal, as Mayawati said, members of the deceased family had accused the SSP of tampering with the evidence.

The murder of 22-year-old poetess Madhumita Shukla on May 9 created a storm in political circles after it became evident that the deceased had a relationship with Amar Mani Tripathi, Stamp and Registration Minister in the Uttar Pradesh Government.

Senior police officials, carrying out investigation into the murder, claim that they had got clinching evidence that Madhumita was claiming herself to be Mrs A.M. Tripathi.

After relationship of the poetess and the minister became apparent the opposition parties demanded dismissal of the minister from the government and also demanded the case be handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

Chief Minister Mayawati said the minister was being removed to prevent the opposition parties from taking political advantage of the situation.

”If Tripathi is cleared in the CB-CID inquiry, he would be re-inducted into the ministry. If he is found guilty, I will expel him from the party,” Ms Mayawati said.

Incidentally, the Chief Minister had earlier given a clean chit to Tripathi saying that she would not sack any minister on such frivolous charges. It seems that she was forced to take the decision to sack the minister due to pressure from the BJP, which is its main alliance partner in the state.

“Our national leaders had a discussion with Ms Mayawati on Tripathi issue and we made it clear that a minister with criminal background should not be part of the ministry,” state BJP chief Vinay Katiyar said. The BJP welcomes the decision of the Chief Minister to drop the tainted minister,” he said.

Tripathi is already facing more than a dozen criminal cases. In 2001, Tripathi was dropped from the ministry, led by Mr Rajnath Singh, after he was found guilty of harbouring kidnappers in his house. He was arrested and sent to jail but later released on bail. Last month, high court indicted Tripathi in a land grabbing case.

New Delhi: Terming the removal of Tripathi as a “political drama”, the Samajwadi Party today demanded CBI probe into the murder of the the young poetess. Party general secretary Amar Singh urged the Prime Minister to “order a CBI probe” as the incident had happened in his constituency.

Claiming that the CBCID probe ordered by the Mayawati government will not be impartial, the SP leader said, “I can announce today that Amar Mani will be reinstated into the Cabinet soon.”

He said the Senior Superintendent of Police in Lucknow, who “wanted to unearth the truth”, had been removed and Madhumita’s sister has changed her statements in the past three days “due to pressure”.

Further, the filing of over 200 cases by the BSP-led government against Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav on the basis of a CB-CID probe clearly indicated its “partisan” approach to incidents, he said.

Meanwhile, the BJP today called upon the Opposition parties to desist from politicising the issue. BJP general secretary Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said the decision to hold an inquiry “leaves no moral right for the Opposition parties to make any further outcry over the Madhumita case.”

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