UP govt in damage control mode

UP govt in damage control mode

CM urged to punish minister who terrorised health officials

Hugely embarrassed by the ‘abduction’ bid by one of its ministers, Uttar Pradesh government went into damage control mode. 

Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav and chief minister Akhilesh Yadav held a series of meetings with senior leaders and ministers on the issue which has outraged officials here.

Health minister Ahmed Hasan on Thursday met Mulayam and Akhilesh and urged them to ensure action against minister of state for rehabilitation and revenue Vinod Singh alias Pandit Singh who allegedly terrorised Gonda’s chief medical officer for refusing to accept his recommendations for the appointment of doctors.

“The minister’s attempt to abduct the chief medical officer and two clerks of the health department has triggered an outrage among senior officials. A sense of fear prevails among them,” Hasan is reported to have told Mulayam and Akhilesh.

Akhilesh is also likely to meet CMO Dr S P Singh to have a first hand account of the incident, according to sources.

A two-member committee has been formed to probe the matter.

Officer on leave

Such is the fear among officials that the district magistrate and chief development officer of the district proceeded on leave immediately after the incident, sources said.

Although SP leaders said Mulayam has taken the incident ‘very seriously’, they refused to elaborate what action could be taken against Singh who is a powerful leader of the party.
Even Mulayam’s younger brother and senior minister Shivpal Singh Yadav evaded a flurry of questions on this. “The probe is going on,” was all he said.

Sources say Singh’s name strikes terror in Gonda district. His writ runs in the district and no one dares to oppose him. He has a long criminal history and several cases are pending against him.

The minister had barged into the CMO’s house at midnight and abducted him and two others from the health department in Gonda in a bid to force him to cancel the list of appointees, and include the names he had recommended.

However, the terrified officer managed to inform senior officials and was later escorted to the state capital by the additional district magistrate.

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