Raja Bhaiyya Back As Minister In Akhilesh Yadav Cabinet

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The Raja’s kingdom Raja Bhaiya in his Pratapgarh constituency Photo: Pramod Adhikari
The Raja’s kingdom Raja Bhaiya in his Pratapgarh constituency
Photo: Pramod Adhikari

After a little over seven months, the controversial independent MLA from Kunda and Rajput leader, Raghuraj Pratap Singh alias Raja Bhaiyya was re-inducted in the Akhilesh Yadav cabinet on 11 October 2013. He was administered the oath of office in Raj Bhawan by the state governor BL Joshi in a simple ceremony. The Governor who was on holiday in Jaipur, rushed to the state capital in an aircraft arranged by the state government.

Akhilesh Yadav was reluctant to induct the controversial MLA Raja Bhaiyya when he took over as CM, after the March 2012 assembly elections. However, the will of his father and Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav prevailed and he was included in the cabinet.

Raja Bhaiyya had earlier served as minister in three BJP regimes led by Kalyan Singh, Ram Prakash Gupta, Rajnath Singh and Mulayam Singh Yadav’s government (August 2003 –May 2007). Former BJP CM Kalyan Singh, while campaigning in Kunda during the 1996 assembly elections had described Raja Bhaiyya as “Kunda Ka Gunda”.

Raja Bhaiyya, former minister for jails, food and civil supplies, had resigned from the cabinet on 1 March 2013, following allegations of his involvement in the murder Zia Ul Haq, Deputy Superintendent of police, Kunda in Pratapgarh district. Chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, conceding to the demands of the wife of the slain DSP, Parveen, and the opposition parties, had recommended to the Center a CBI probe into the incident. The CBI had however, given him a clean chit and exonerated him of all charges on 4 August.

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Special Correspondent (Lucknow)

Virendra Nath Bhatt is a post graduate in Economics. Started career as journalist in 1982, by contributing for a couple of Hindi dailies of Lucknow and Bareilly and also Jansatta of Delhi. Joined the English daily `The Pioneer in 1990 and later shifted to National Herald. After one year joined as correspondent for the Onlooker Magazine published from Bombay in 1991. In 1995 again joined The Pioneer in 1995 and worked till 2007. In December joined Indian Express Luck now. In September 2011 joined Tehelka. Bhatt has extensively covered parliament and assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh since 1985 and also the Ramjanma Bhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute in Ayodhya and the movement for social justice – the social strife against the implementation of the Mandal commission report in August 1990.

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