Lucknow: Controversial Uttar Pradesh minister Raja Bhaiya has been booked for the murder of a Deputy Superintendent of police. Two of his aides have been arrested based on the police officer's wife's complaint. She also said he was shielding one of his associates.
Who is Raja Bhaiya? What does politics have to do with the ups and downs of his career? Raghu Raj Pratap Singh, famously known as Raja Bhaiya was sworn in as a minister in UP for the second time in 2012. For a man, who till March 2012, had 48 criminal cases pending against himself, his meteoric rise has had all the elements of a Bollywood film.
His 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.
In November 2002, Mayawati as the UP chief minister had slapped POTA charges against Raja Bhaiya on the basis of a complaint by an MLA. But in 2003, within half an hour of Mulayam Singh Yadav taking over as the chief minister, all charges against him were dropped.
In 2007 again when Mayawati became the chief minister of a full majority government, Raja Bhaiya had to cool his heels for almost a year in jail in UP. The script changed again in 2012 when Akhilesh Yadav took over as the Chief Minister and Raja Bhaiya became the minister for jail affairs itself.
But this is not the first time that Raja Bhaiya is finding himself under scrutiny for death of a policeman. In 2007, DSP Ram Shiromani Pandey, the investigating officer in the POTA case against Raja Bhaiya, died in a road accident on the eve of his approaching the Allahabad high court seeking action against him. Questions were raised, but nothing could be proven and Raja Bhaiya remained as powerful as ever.
Now with the incumbent Chief Minister facing the heat over deteriorating law and order in the state, another murder case being slapped against Raja Bhaiya could make things difficult both for Raja Bhaiya as well as Akhilesh Yadav.