UP minister favours 'controlled' corruption

UP minister favours 'controlled' corruption

Uttar Pradesh PWD minister Shivpal Singh Yadav has landed in trouble after reportedly advising officials of his ministry that they can indulge in a bit of corruption, provided they work hard.

The minister, Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav’s younger brother, was caught off guard as a local TV channel filmed him making the controversial statement at a meeting of the department officials at Etah district, around 250 km from here. “If you work hard, you may steal a little, but do not commit robbery,” he said, taking the officials by surprise. “Give the people sweet water and you too can steal some,” he added.

Although the meeting was held behind closed doors, a local TV crew was hired to record the proceedings. On Friday, Yadav made a u-turn, denying making the remarks. The media had “quoted me out of context,” he claimed. “There seems to be a conspiracy behind all this...the meeting had been called to discuss ways and means to check corruption, so how can I say anything like that?” he said.

Yadav’s remarks raked up a controversy, with Opposition parties baying for his blood. Such comments prove that the Samajwadi Party government is not serious in curbing corruption, they said.

“Such remarks will only embolden the officials and encourage corruption,” said Swami Prasad Maurya of the BSP. Lalji Tandon of the BJP said: “The minister's remarks
signalled that he has given a free hand to the officials to make money through illegal means. It is a shame that a senior minister made such a remark.”

Unfortunate remark

The remark did not go down well with the Congress as well, as party state president Reeta Bahuguna Joshi described as “unfortunate. “Satpal Singh Yadav is known for making outlandish remarks, as he famously dismissed the infamous Nithari killings as a “small matter.”

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