UP rape-accused minister not allowed to share dais with CM

Rape-accused minister Gayatri Prajapati was not allowed to share the dais with Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav at an election rally in Amethi on Monday.

The UP minister is contesting the Assembly polls from Amethi on an SP ticket. Prajapati was seen crying after being asked to leave the stage before Akhilesh’s arrival. “I am innocent,” he claimed.

The minister, against whom the Supreme Court recently ordered registration of an FIR in a rape case, said he would not participate in any election rally or share the stage with other leaders till the results were declared.

SP sources said Akhilesh has directed local leaders to ensure that Prajapati did not share the stage with him. “It would give rivals ammunition to attack the chief minister,” an SP leader said.

Addressing a rally at Gauriganj earlier in the day, Akhilesh had urged the electorate to help Prajapati win. “He (Prajapati) is in the news these days,” Akhilesh said.

A woman has accused Prajapati and his friends of raping her for two years. The police had given a clean chit to the minister.

The victim, however, approached the court, which ordered registration of a case.

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