Lucknow: Controversial Uttar Pradesh minister Raghuraj Pratap Singh alias Raja Bhaiya resigned as the state's Food and Civil Supplies Minister on Monday after he was booked for the murder of Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Zia-ul-Haq. He met Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Monday and submitted his resignation.
Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav confirmed that Akhilesh has accepted Raja Bhaiya's resignation. Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati on Monday demanded President's rule in Uttar Pradesh. "Even after a year in office, the Samajwadi Party (SP) has not been able to get its act together. If police are not secure, what can common people expect?," the former UP chief minister said.
However, political experts are calling the resignation an eyewash and say that Raja Bhaiya will be inducted back into the ministry once the dust settles. They say that the Samajwadi Party is known for not acting very strongly on the law and order front and the party would not let Raja Bhaiya out in the cold for too long as it could hurt its political fortunes.
Reacting to Mayawati's demand, Mulayam said, "They have no moral right to speak as BSP's MLAs themselves have been involved in the crime and rape cases."
The wife of the Deputy Superintendent of Police, who was killed on Saturday during clashes between villagers and police in Uttar Pradesh, had threatened to commit suicide in front of Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav's house if she did not get justice. "He was under a lot of pressure. He was constantly being threatened and didn't want to stay here. If justice is not served then I will go to Akhilesh Yadav's house and kill myself," she said.
Protesting against the murder she said that she will not allow the body to be buried unless the Chief Minister visits her. "I demand that the Chief Minister come here and resolve this issue. I demand Raja Bhaiya be subject to a police investigation, and the CBI should also intervene. If the CM does not come here I will not bury my husband. He will have to come or I will commit suicide," she said.
Raja Bhaiya was booked for the murder of the Deputy Superintendent of Police and two of his aides were arrested based on the complaint of the slain police officer's wife. She also said he was shielding one of his associates. Zia-ul-Haq had suffered gunshots during firing between the villagers and the police and had succumbed to his injuries late Saturday evening. An inspector and the DSP's gunner had also sustained injuries in the incident.
The clashes were provoked by a rampage by villagers, who were protesting the murder of a gram pradhan and his brother. Reports say the pradhan allegedly had a land dispute with the driver of Raja Bhaiya. The villagers blamed the police for refusing to act when the pradhan sought protection fearing for his life.
Raja Bhaiya was divested of the prison portfolio in February when Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav reshuffled his cabinet. He had reportedly met the Chief Minister on Saturday night to issue a clarification on the incident.
Raja Bhaiya's political career has been pulled in different directions by Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati over the past decade. A stint of Mayawati rule meant Raja Bhaiya had to go to jail and a stint of Mulayam Singh's SP rule meant him becoming a minister, a reflection of the deep Dalit-Thakur divide in UP.