Uttar Pradesh Minister of State for Revenue and Rehabilitation Vinod aka Pandit Singh resigned from the government Friday after allegations that he abducted a medical officer.
The minister said in a statement that he was quitting on “moral grounds”. A close aide to Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav pointed out that the resignation should not be seen as acceptance of the allegations.
After the accusations were levelled against the minister by Gonda Chief Medical Officer S.P. Singh, a red-faced chief minister Thursday ordered a probe into the incident.
The party also took a serious view on the issue as it was seen as a “big blot” on Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav.
Soon after their arrival from Mumbai, the chief minister as well as the SP president made it clear to the minister that “he will have to face the music”.
While Mulayam was reluctant to act without hearing out the minister, party officials said the chief minister told Mulayam Yadav that he would not like to have any taint on the image of his government.
A section in the party also felt that delayed action in the matter could sully the image of the chief minister himself.
The minister against whom the allegations were made has, however, demanded a probe into the conduct of the CMO and some other officials, who he said, were “not acting in a rightful manner”.
The Gonda CMO Wednesday lodged a verbal complaint with the district officials that Vinod Singh had coerced him to make “adjustments” and appoint some doctors in the contractual jobs under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) scheme.
However, when he refused to do so, he was abducted by the minister’s henchmen, S.P. Singh alleged. The minister has three criminal cases pending against him.
Some SP ministers Friday cautioned the chief minister to be careful in taking any action against his own ministers.
“It is okay that the minister has resigned but we should take due care to find out the truth behind such allegations,” a senior SP minister told IANS. The Gonda CMO is said to be untraceable after making the allegations against Vinod Singh.