state minister for mining
Gayatri Prasad Prajapati and panchayati raj minister Raj Kishore Singh from his cabinet. The decision has been communicated to Governor Ram Naik.
Both the ministers were facing allegations of corruption and land grabbing. The opposition parties have however described the sacking of the ministers as a mere eyewash ahead of the 2017 assembly elections.
On July 28, the Allahabad
high court had ordered a CBI probe
into allegations of rampant corruption in mining department and directed the investigating agency to submit a status report of the probe within the next six weeks.
Gayatri Prajapati, who was heading the mining department as a cabinet minister, was facing a Lokayukta probe on corruption charges as well. Prajapati initially inducted as minister of state for irrigation in Akhilesh cabinet was later made the minister for mining, reportedly at the behest of the SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav.
Action against Panchayati Raj minister Raj Kishore Singh followed allegations of land grabbing levelled against him by people from his assembly constituency of Basti.
“Illegal mining is rampant in the state and it is an open secret that the minster was promoting it. Now when the HC has taken serious view of the matter and ordered CBI probe, the CM’s decision is if hardly any consequence,” Congress leader Rita Bahuguna Joshi said.
BJP state general secretary Vijay Bahadur Pathak said it was good that CM has taken the decision to sack the minister because the BJP has been raising the matter of illegal mining in the state. “The decision should have been taken earlier,” Pathak said.
Minister for horticulture and food processing Moolchand Chauhan will now head mining department, while social welfare minister Ram Govind Chaudhary will have the additional charge of Panchayati Raj.