Yogi Adityanath Cabinet Trouble: Minister Resigns, Another In Delhi

Sources said that Yogi Adityanath summoned Jitin Prasada over corruption charge on his aide. (File)

An Uttar Pradesh minister has resigned complaining that he was “sidelined because he is a Dalit” in a huge setback for Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath just months after he was re-elected by a landslide. The minister, Dinesh Khatik, has sent his resignation letter to Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

Another minister, Jitin Prasada, is seething with resentment at the Chief Minister and is meeting with the BJP leadership in Delhi in a rare example of discontent coming out in the open in any BJP government.

Mr Khatik, the Uttar Pradesh Water Resources minister, has claimed in his letter that he was not assigned any work for 100 days. “I am resigning because I am hurt,” he says in the letter that alleges irregularities in departmental transfers.

“I was not given any importance because I am a Dalit. I have no authority as a minister. My working as a minister of state is a waste for the Dalit community – I am not called for any meeting and not told anything about my ministry. This is an insult of the Dalit community,” Mr Khatik writes.

Sources say the party is trying to talk him out of resignation.

Jitin Prasada is angry over an official on his team being suspended by the Chief Minister. Mr Prasada switched from the Congress to the BJP last year, months before the UP election.

Mr Prasada was rewarded with a key ministry – the Public Works Department (PWD) – but the department faces corruption allegations. The Chief Minister’s office reportedly ordered an investigation, and several officials were found to be involved in bribe-for-transfers.

On Tuesday, the UP government suspended five senior PWD officers over serious irregularities in departmental transfers.

Mr Prasada’s Officer on Special Duty Anil Kumar Pandey, an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, was among those accused of taking bribes for transfers and postings.

Mr Pandey was removed and a vigilance inquiry was launched against him.

As his boss, Mr Prasada is also facing questions about corruption on his watch. Sources say Yogi Adityanath summoned him and took him to task over the corruption charge against his aide.

Mr Prasada then sought a meeting with BJP president JP Nadda and Union Home Minister Amit Shah to flag his complaint.

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