Controversy tyrannises Akhilesh Yadav’s cabinet expansion, ‘tainted’ leader to be inducted

Lucknow: Controversy shrouds the expansion of the Akhilesh Yadav ministry on Monday with a social activist throwing a spanner by challenging before Governor Ram Naik the possible re-entry of tainted former Mines Minister Gayatri Prajapati.

The Governor is scheduled to administer oath of office and secrecy to some new ministers, a Raj Bhawan communique said.

With Prajapati’s re-induction on the cards as part of a compromise formula to douse the flames in the Yadav clan that took the hue of a major political crisis recently, activist Nutan Thakur has petitioned the Governor against making him minister again.

This will be the eighth expansion of the Akhilesh Yadav government since it assumed office in 2012.

The UP council of ministers can have 60 ministers and there are three vacancies at present.

Another probable swearing in could be that of Ziauddin Rizvi, who was not able to take oath in July when the cabinet was last expanded. He was abroad then.

Nutan filed the petition before the Governor just 48 hours before the oath ceremony requesting him not to re-induct Prajapati.

In her petition, she said Prajapati was removed as minister on serious corruption charges after the order of Allahabad High Court for CBI enquiry and the CBI report was presented before the court.

She said a minister is removed from office under provisions of Article 164 of the Constitution when he loses the pleasure of the Governor.

Nutan said when Prajapati was removed as minister, he had lost the pleasure of the Governor. Hence, he cannot be re-inducted in the Ministry unless the facts and reasons on which he had lost the pleasure of the Governor get removed.

Prajapati began as Minister of State for Irrigation in February 2013 and was moved to the lucrative berth of mining, directly under Yadav who handled that portfolio.

In July 2013, Yadav elevated Prajapati to MoS (Independent Charge) and in January 2014, he was made a Cabinet Minister.