UP appoints 'outsider' to head state tourism

He donated Rs 1.5 cr to SP during polls

 An appointment of an outsider as chairman of the Uttar Pradesh tourism development corporation by the Samajwadi Party has triggered a controversy after it was revealed that the appointee had donated a huge amount of money to the party.

The opposition parties are charging the government with  ‘auctioning’ the posts of state owned corporations and other institutions.

The state government had a few days back appointed Sudip Sen, of West Bengal, as chairman of the state tourism corporation.

It has been learnt that Sen, who runs a cultural institution in West Bengal, had donated Rs 1.5 crore to the party during the state Assembly polls. The details of the donation given in three instalments were also available on the web.

Sen’s wife had also given a donation of Rs 6 lakh to the SP in 2011.

While the opposition parties have charged the SP government with ‘selling’ posts of corporations and institutions, even the party leaders appeared to be unhappy with this.

“The state government is auctioning the posts. How can we expect an outsider to promote tourism in the state? What does he know about Uttar Pradesh,” said UP Congress leader Dwijendra Tripathi.

BJP spokesman H N Dixit also lambasted the government. “The state government stands exposed,” he said.

SP spokesman Rajendra Chaudhary rejected all allegations.

“It is nothing but an attempt to tarnish the image of the government,” he said.
However, some SP leaders did voice their opposition on the appointment.

“There are many loyal SP workers who could have been adjusted on these posts rather than appointing people from outside on the basis of monetary contributions made by them,” said a senior SP leader.

Earlier also, the appointments by the state government on such posts had been mired in controversy.

A senior SP leader, who was made vice president of Cane Research Council and was accorded status of minister of state, was allegedly caught advocating the case of cattle smugglers, who had tried to bribe a senior police official in Gonda district.

President of khadi and industry board Natwar Goyal had to be sacked after he assaulted a photo journalist, who clicked photographs of his under construction building.

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