Minister pays for raising stink over corruption
CM takes his portfolios away as ‘punishment’
A few days back a junior minister had exposed corruption in his department, seeking to put his senior minister in the dock. He urged chief minister Akhilesh Yadav to order a probe into the matter.
But instead of ordering an inquiry, Akhilesh has clipped the junior minister's wings. On Friday, sources said, the chief minister withdrew several departments from him.
Minister of state for agriculture Rajiv Kumar Singh had accused Anand Singh, who is the senior minister holding cabinet rank, of graft in connection with the purchase of seeds.
The MoS alleged that Anand Singh had caused a huge loss to the state exchequer by sanctioning purchase of seeds by the state-owned Uttar Pradesh Seed Development Corporation at inflated rates, bypassing rules.
He had alleged that the orders for procuring seeds were given to the agencies which did not produce them, but bought them from outside sources.
Rajiv Singh said the government had decided to purchase seeds only from the agencies which produced them. The junior minister had urged the chief minister to take action against the cabinet minister.
But, according to sources, Akhilesh on Friday withdrew several departments from Rajiv Singh, handing them over to the cabinet minister and newly appointed MoS in the agriculture department Manoj Pandey.
“Rajiv Singh has been left with insignificant departments. Many departments which were under him have either been given to Pandey or Anand Singh,” a senior official said.
Sources said Rajiv Singh has been ‘punished’ for causing embarrassment to the government by going public with his allegations. Anand Singh had also said that.
Congress has demanded an inquiry into the allegations. “It is a serious issue as a junior minister has made allegations and they must be probed,” state Congress leader Ashok Singh said here.
Bahujan Samaj Party leader Swami Prasad Maurya also demanded a probe and said his party would raise the issue in the Assembly.