MLA holds official hostage for funds

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav may have been trying desperately to improve administration by taking lax officials to task but lawmakers from his own party seem bent on flouting his orders.

In an incident certain to embarrass the Chief Minister, a Samajwadi Party (SP) legislator reportedly held a senior government official hostage in Allahabad town and forced him to sign papers releasing money from the MP area development fund.

To add insult to the government’s injury, the entire drama, which was enacted at the office of the Programe Officer Vijay Kumar Srivastava on Thursday, was recorded by the local media and the footage was aired on Friday.

According to the reports, former MP from Jaunpur, Dhananjay Singh, had sanctioned Rs 10 lakh from his local area development fund to a degree college a few months back.

The concerned file was with Srivastava and he, in accordance with the rules, had marked it to his boss.

The college manager, Mushtaq Ahmed, took strong exception to this as he felt that Srivastava could himself have signed the release papers.

He contacted SP MLA from Bara Assembly seat Ajai Bharti for help.

Bharti, Mushtaq and their goons barged into Srivastava’s office on Thursday and asked him to sign the fund release papers.

The official expressed his inability to do so and said that the funds could be released only with the signature of the Chief Development Officer (CDO).

Bharti called a few other ruling party legislators to exert pressure on the official, who was held hostage for several hours at his office at Vikas Bhavan. The official was forced to sign the papers.

“Anything could have happened if I had not signed'”, Srivastava said later. Bharti remained unrepentant and said that he was only helping the people.

Earlier also SP MLAs and even ministers have been in the news for assaulting officials and forcing them to bend the rules for the ruling party lawmakers.

Akhilesh and SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav have warned the MLAs against terrorising officials but it fell on deaf ears.

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