UP minister axed over comments against women officials

Lucknow, April 13 (IANS) Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav Saturday booted out Raja Ram Pandey, a Samajwadi Party (SP) legislator and minister for Khadi and Gramudyog, for his unrepentant public utterances against women officials.

In a notification issued by the state chief secretary, it was informed that the minister was being divested of his charges with immediate effect.

Pandey, a three-time legislator from Vishwanathganj, hogged the limelight in February when he openly admitted of being enamoured by the district magistrate of Pratapgarh, detailing and comparing her beauty to her predecessor.

While the minister got away then despite condemnation by woman social workers and activists, he made another comment Friday at a public function that he would ensure that the roads in the state were made akin to the cheeks of film actress Madhuri Dixit.

Sources say the statement had angered the chief minister so much that he told his father and party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav that he would not settle for anything but Pandey’s exit from the government.

“The chief minister was very cut up by such a remark and decided enough was enough,” a close aide told IANS.

Once Mulayam Singh Yadav gave Akhilesh the go ahead, he asked the needful to be done and Chief Secretary Jawed Usmani went ahead with the press communique.

This is the second instance in the last one day when Akhilesh Yadav took charge and took decisive decisions.

Yadav Friday removed the state Director General of Police A.C. Sharma for non-performance.

He further reshuffled the state bureaucracy Saturday and transferred 23 IAS officials and 63 PCS officials.

This, party leaders point out, was a clear indicator that Akhilesh “was coming in his

elements” and perhaps walking out of the shadow of his father and party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav.

— Indo-Asian News Service

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