Lokayukta recommends removal of yet another UP minister

Mayawati has already sacked four tainted ministers -- Rajesh Tripathi, Awadhpal Singh, Badshah Singh and Rangnath Mishra -- on the recommendation of the Lokpal, in an apparent clean-up exercise ahead of the assembly polls due next year.

Lokayukta Justice N K Mehrotra, in his report sent to the to Chief Minister, today recommended removal of Minister of State for Ambedkar Gram Vikas department Ratan Lal Ahirwar after indicting him on charges of misusing his local area development fund and encroaching on village land.

It also sought recovery of funds allocated to a school run by his trust.

Justice Mehrotra said Ahriwar should be removed from the post as the case cannot be finalised if he continues to be the minister.

It also recommended that action be taken against officials, including the then divisional commissioner of Jhansi, Sovaran Singh Yadav, who had released funds to the school.

A complaint was also lodged against the Minister by one Kamlapat Rai of Jhansi district, accusing him of encroaching Gram Samaj land for constructing a college building and misuing his office.

Meanwhile, the BJP demanded that Ahriwar be sacked immediately while the SP said the Governor should recommend dismissal of Mayawati government.

"Once the Lokayukta has recommended action against the minister, he should be immediately sacked from the ministry by Chief Minister Mayawati as there are serious charges against him," BJP spokesman Vijay Bahadur Pathak said.

Alleging that 40 per cent of ministers were facing inquiry by the UP Lokayukta, SP spokesman Rajendra Chaudhary said, "The list of inquiry by Lokayukta is increasing day by day. The Governor should take cognisance of the situation and recommend dismissal of the government."

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