Tribune News Service
Lucknow, September 12
Distancing himself from the two Cabinet ministers facing corruption charges, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav today dismissed Mining Minister Gayatri Prajapati and Panchayti Raj Minister Raj Kishore Singh. The CM’s office had dispatched formal letters of dismissal to the Raj Bhawan, confirmed a senior official said.
Illegal mining in Uttar Pradesh is reportedly to the tune of Rs 4,000 crore per month. Prajapati is reportedly close to SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav as well as his younger son, Prateek Yadav. An MLA from Amethi, Prajapati had been given a clean chit by the Lokayukt some time back. Strangely, while corruption charges against him were being probed he was promoted.
His dismissal comes days after the Allahabad High Court rejected the Uttar Pradesh government’s plea to withdraw an order for a CBI probe into allegations of illegal mining. Taking a serious view of a large-scale illegal mining in UP, the High Court on July 28 had ordered a CBI probe and asked it submit a report in six weeks.
The Opposition has alleged that the sacking of the ministers was just an eyewash to save the skin of the bigger fishes in the mining scam.
The suspension of IAS officer Durga Shakti Nagpal in 2013 had created a national indignation as she had reportedly paid the price for trying to stop illegal mining in Greater Noida.
Allegations of corruption and land grabbing by the other dismissed minister Raj Kishore Singh’s kin had reached the Chief Minister, resulting in his ouster. Representing Haraiya in Basti district, Singh is alleged to have demanded money from the Zila Panchayat members in his constituency.
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