Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Thursday rejected the resignation of Cabinet Minister Mohammad Azam Khan as the chief of Kumbh Mela Organising Committee. "The CM, while praising the minister, has turned down his resignation as the chief of the committee and he will continue on the post," an official spokesman said in Lucknow. According to the spokesman, Yadav said the Urban Development minister was involved in the organisation of Kumbh Mela in Allahabad with full sincerity and commitment.
Khan on Thursday said he was not responsible for the incident. "Did any incident take place in Allahabad city of Kumbh Mela site...it was the railway station," he told reporters in Lucknow. Taking moral responsibility for the death of 36 people during stampede at Allahabad railway station, Khan had tendered his resignation as in-charge of Kumbh on Monday.
"Though the incident took place outside the Kumbh Mela premises, I take the moral responsibility and resign as the incharge of the Kumbh. I am sending my resignation to Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav," Khan had told reporters in Rampur. He had said he was upset due to the tragic incident as he had tried hard to make best arrangements for the Kumbh.
The Chief Minister said Azam Khan was involved in the organisation of Kumbh Mela in Allahabad with full sincerity and commitment.
Later, the minister had blamed news channels for creating panic by running breaking news of stampede in Kumbh Mela. "The death of two persons after falling in drain was run as breaking news in channels saying that deaths took place due to stampede in Kumbh...Due to this news, people started moving to the railway station due to which pressure increased there," Khan had told reporters in Sambhal.
As there was no proper arrangement of announcement system, confusion prevailed at the station, he had said. Khan had asserted he was ready to resign as a minister also if laxity of any of the departments under him came to the fore. "I have no interest in continuing as minister if responsibility of departments I am looking after comes to the fore," he added. He said the media which was showering praises for the Kumbh arrangements changed their tune after the incident.
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