Lucknow, Dec 26: Taking serious note of the indictment by the Lok Ayukta (ombudsman), Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati Sunday dropped one of her ministers charged with graft.
Minister of state for homeopathy and religious endowments Rajesh Tripathi was unceremoniously sacked after he was found guilty of committing large-scale irregularities by Lok Ayukta Justice N.K. Mehrotra.
A detailed report was submitted by the Lok Ayukta on a complaint made by Tripathi’s estranged associate and activist Vijay Prakash Shukla.
The complaint had accused the minister of not only land grabbing and pilfering of government funds through an NGO floated by him, but also fleecing common people in Barhalganj.
“Tripathi had imposed a private levy on every cremation carried out at the local cremation ground in Barhalganj,” Shukla had stated in the complaint.
Interestingly, it was the creation of a proper cremation ground for which journalist-turned-politician Tripathi was credited during the 2007 assembly elections in which he defeated the all-time powerful mafia don-turned-politician Hari Shankar Tiwari.
Impressed by his sweep, Mayawati inducted Tripathi in her ministry.
Taking undue advantage of his position, he went on a money-minting spree, violating all rules and norms and ignoring his own supporters and constituents.
Eventually, his own close associates raised the bugle of revolt against him and lodged a written complaint with the Lok Ayukta, who finally put him in the dock.
Yet another minister likely to come in Mayawati’s firing line is Secondary Education Minister Rang Nath Misra, who is also facing a probe by the ombudsman. –(IANS)