Having accepted his failure in reining in his bureaucrats, beleaguered Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav is finding it hard to deal with “lal batti dharis”, the new Ministers of State who bring disrepute to his government.
For one, the ruling SP is on the back foot after K C Pandey, who had been declared an absconder in a cow smuggling case, was given the status of a Minister of State last week. Now, a PIL has been filed against Pandey’s appointment as chairman of the Sugar Cane Research Institute.
Another recent appointment was also dogged by controversy after it was revealed that the new chairman of the State Tourism Corporation, Sudip Sen, had donated `1.5 crore to the SP during the last Assembly elections.
“It is confirmed that the status of the minister is being auctioned in the Samajwadi Party,” BJP spokesperson Hridaya Narain Dixit told Express.
When confronted by mediapersons, Health Minister Ahmad Hasan said, “Now it’s being investigated how Sen got the post of minister in the government.” Natwar Goel, who was appointed as vice-chairman of the UP Khadi Evam Gramodhyog Vikas Board, was stripped of his Minister of State status after being arrested and imprisoned in a land grabbing case.
Akhilesh had to dismiss Minister of State Vinod Kumar Singh after he roughed up a chief medical officer for not appointing his recommendees. Senior leaders are also miffed that Naved Siddiqui, a radio jockey and an active Team Akhilesh member, got the Minister of State status after being appointed chairman of the Sangit Evam Natak Academy.
The Chief Minister’s woes don’t end here. He had to revoke his decision to remove senior minister Azam Khan from the charge of Meerut district after the latter shot off a resignation letter to him.
And when Delhi Imam Ahmed Bukhari demanded his pound of flesh, the party had to elevate his son-in-law Omar Bukhari as MLC, despite his having lost the 2012 Assembly election from Saharanpur.
The CM’s office is flooded with the complaints on the functioning of the UP Pollution Control Board and charges of corruption, after Bukhari’s trusted hand Wasim Ahmed Khan took its reins.
“Yes, there are serious complaints and the matter is also in the knowledge of the highest authorities,” said a Borad member on condition of anonymity.