‘Tainted’ minister’s presence on dais draws Akhilesh flak

Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Tuesday drew criticism as he not only shared stage with controversial Samajwadi Party leader Gayatri Prajapati at a public rally in Sultanpur but also exhorted people to elect him with a handsome victory margin.

Prajapati, a close associate of Mulayam Singh Yadav, has been fielded from Amethi. His tenure as the Mining Minister has been under cloud and the High Court has ordered a CBI probe into the allegations of wrong doings against him.

The development is being seen in political circles as a huge dent to Akhilesh’s claim of starting a new era of clean politics in his party.

The BJP pounced on the opportunity and said the fact that Prajapati is the “brand ambassador of Akhilesh Yadav” speaks volumes about his bent towards graft and that the 43-year-old Chief Minister is only hoodwinking people.

Keshav Prasad Maurya, the state BJP President, said the corruption and gundaraaj of the SP government has further been exposed by Tuesday’s show of solidarity for the minister by Akhilesh Yadav.