Mayawati sacks two more ministers on graft charges

Lucknow, Oct 5: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati Wednesday took everyone by surprise by showing the door to two ministers found guilty of illegally amassing huge wealth and assets.

While state Lokayukta N.K. Mehrotra had sought Secondary Education Minister Rangnath Mishra’s ouster, Labour Minister Badshah Singh was also sacked in the wake of serious charges of corruption against him.

The sacking of the two ministers comes close on the heels of the ouster of two other ministers on similar charges. They were animal husbandry and dairy development minister Avadhpal Singh Yadav and religious endowments minister Rajesh Tripathi.

Announcing the removal of the two ministers here, state Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) president Swami Prasad Maurya told mediapersons: ‘Both ministers have been removed with immediate effect; they would be re-inducted into the cabinet only if they are able to prove their innocence.’

‘Prima facie, the extent of assets acquired by them was far beyond their legitimate sources of income,’ he said.

He hailed Mayawati as the only chief minister in the country to have ordered prompt action against her ministers as well as other leaders facing serious charges of corruption.

Maurya sought to point out how other states usually chose to sit over reports of Lok Ayuktas without taking punitive action against guilty ministers.

Citing examples from the Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled Karnataka, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, he said that orders on ‘indictment of ministers by the Lok Ayuktas of these states have simply gathered dust for years’.

IANS