SP calls media 'tainted', shields MLAs

Facing flak over inclusion of tainted politicians in the ministry in its expansion on Thursday, a wary Samajwadi Party on Friday gave vent to its anger on the media, calling it ‘tainted’ and asking it not to don the role of a judge.

“Dagi aap log hain. Koi mantri dagi nahin hai” (You are tainted. No minister is tainted), said SP national general secretary Ram Gopal Yadav.

Yadav was responding to queries on the inclusion of Vinod Singh alias Pandit Singh, who has a long criminal history. A few months back, when Vinod Singh was a minister, he had kidnapped the chief medical officer of Gonda district for refusing to appoint the candidates recommended by him for doctors’ posts.

When asked why Singh was sacked after the incident then, Yadav retorted that he had been removed ‘under media pressure’.

“Vinod Singh’s removal was a mistake and the mistake has now been rectified,” a defiant Yadav added.

Ram Gopal also defended the decision of moving out Gonda district police chief, who had conducted a sting operation trapping K C Pandey, a senior SP leader enjoying the status of a minister.

Pandey was apparently advocating the case of cattle smugglers and offering a bribe to the senior police officer.

“The sting operation had been carried out two months back. Why did the SP disclose it only when Pandey was accorded the status of a minister? Why not earlier? Action should be taken against the police official,” he said.

‘Media judgmental’

“There is a difference between an accused and a tainted person. Media should not be judgmental,” Yadav said.

“If I get cases registered against you today, will you become criminals?” he asked mediapersons.

Opposition parties have sharply criticised the reinduction of Vinod Singh in the cabinet.

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