UP Minister rebels against govt, threatens to quit over officer’s removal

Lucknow: A senior Minister in the Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government has given an ultimatum till Monday evening to the Chief Minister to remove a district official else he will quit and stage a sit-in protest.

Cabinet Minister Om Prakash Rajbhar has announced to sit on the ‘dharna’ if the District Magistrate of Ghazipur Sanjay Kumar Khatri was not immediately transferred.

Rajbhar, who is the national President of BJP’s ally Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party and is the State Backward Welfare Minister said Khatri was not lending ears to the matters, issues and problems raised by him on behalf of the people.

His party has won four seats in the State assembly elections. “I have to answer to people, there are many matters concerning the people which are not being heeded to,” he said.

He added that he was not making unjustified demands and would hence not remain mute spectator as Khatri rides roughshod on him. Rajbhar is a legislator from Jahoorabad.

He said he met Adityanath on June 27 and was told that necessary action would be taken. But no action was taken.

He was asked to wait for another meeting with the Chief Minister by Sunil Bansal, organisational secretary of the state BJP.

The Minister said that he would wait till Monday evening to hear from the Chief Minister’s Office and if the Ghazipur District Magistrate was not removed, Rajbhar would relinquish all government facilities.

He would head to Ghazipur by train and stage the sit in there on Tuesday. “I have come to politics with a mission for my people and not to earn money… and that makes me fearless,” he said.

He added that the BJP was voted to power by the weaker sections, the marginalised “with a lot of hope” but when officials “were not listening to us, what is happening to the poor, it is everyone’s guess”.

The coalition partner was also unhappy with the Bharatiya Janata Party government as there have been many transfers of police officials when they crossed path with lawmakers, informed sources said.

“When that can happen why not pay heed to a justified demand of a coalition partner,” a senior leader of the party said.