'Bhaiya's entry into govt wasn't wrong'

His inclusion no mistake, says SP leader

Sacked Uttar Pradesh minister Raghuraj Pratap Singh alias Raja Bhaiya’s alleged involvement in the murder of a senior cop may have caused serious embarrassment to his government and party.

However, Samajwadi Party leaders do not think his inclusion in the state cabinet, despite having a long criminal past, was a ‘mistake’.

“The party had not committed any mistake by including Raja Bhaiya in the cabinet in the first place”, said party’s national general secretary Ram Gopal Yadav on Saturday.
He said Akhilesh Yadav was the first chief minister in India who sacked a minister and recommended a CBI probe on the demand of the kin of Zia-ul-Haque, the deceased police officer.

Inclusion of Raja Bhaiya’s name in the list of ministers after SP came into power last year raised quite a few eyebrows.

At that time, Akhilesh Yadav too had defended the inclusion saying the cases against him were ‘politically motivated’ since they were registered during the previous BSP regime.

“Cases against Raja Bhaiya were a result of political vendetta,” Akhilesh had then said.

The CM had also defended the re-induction of Vinod Singh alias Pandit Singh in a recent cabinet reshuffle.

Singh was earlier sacked after he was accused of kidnapping a senior medical officer in Gonda district after the latter had refused to issue appointment letters to candidates nominated by him.

Similarly, party leaders had also sprung to the defence of minister of state K C Pandey, who was caught offering a bribe to police for allowing cattle smuggling in a sting operation conducted by a senior cop. The government had instead chosen to shunt out the police official.

Incidentally, several ministers in Akhilesh's cabinet have had a criminal past, including one facing rape charges.

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