Truth behind Durga Shakti Nagpal's suspension has been exposed, say Opposition leaders
The Bharatiya Janata Party has decided to come out in open support of the suspended bureaucrat Durga Shakti Nagpal. The party will stage demonstrations at all the district headquarters in Uttar Pradesh on Saturday.
The announcement was made by the U.P. BJP president Laxmikant Bajpai while addressing a protest meeting at the District Magistrate’s office in Noida on Friday. Accusing Samajwadi Party president Mulayam Singh and Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav of patronising mining mafia, Mr. Bajpai demanded the immediate reinstatement of the suspended officer. He also sought the Centre’s intervention.
Mr. Yadav, who is fending off charges of acting against the IAS officer without giving her an opportunity to plead her case, had categorically stated on Thursday that her suspension would not be revoked. She had arbitrarily ordered the demolition of a mosque wall in Qadalpur village in Greater Noida — a move, he said, that threatened to destroy communal peace. Mr. Yadav said her suspension was not linked to sand mining in the district.
Meanwhile, SP leader Narendra Singh Bhati’s “confession” at a meeting in Gautam Buddha Nagar district that he was instrumental in Ms. Nagpal being punished has seemingly further embarrassed the party leadership.
A video taken at the Gautam Buddha Nagar district meeting, supposedly held a couple of days after Ms. Nagpal’s suspension, was aired by TV channels on Friday. It shows Mr. Bhati bragging that he got the IAS officer suspended in 41 minutes. “I spoke to Mulayam Singh Yadavji and Akhilesh Yadav at 10.30 pm (on July 27) and the suspension order came at 11.11 pm,” he is seen telling the meeting.
However, the SP leader, who is Chairman of U.P. State Agro with the rank of Minister of State and the party’s candidate from Noida in the 2014 Lok Sabha poll, claimed he was quoted out of context.
As the controversy triggered by the officer’s suspension snowballs, senior ruling party functionaries are evidently rallying together. After the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, his father Mulayam Singh and PWD Minister Shivpal Singh Yadav, it was the turn of Urban Development Minister Mohammad Azam Khan to justify the action against the officer. In fact, Mr. Khan said the Noida District Magistrate (K. Ravikant Singh) should be suspended for sending a “wrong report” to the government, giving a clean chit to Ms. Nagpal. The report was sent after action was taken by the Chief Minister, he told reporters.
The District Magistrate is believed to have said in his report that the wall of the mosque under construction was demolished by the villagers themselves. The points enumerated in the DM’s report apparently contradict what the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister said.
Meets Chief Secretary
Meanwhile, Ms. Nagpal is learnt to have met Uttar Pradesh Chief Secretary Javed Usmani and Secretary to the Chief Minister, Anita Singh, at the Lal Bahadur Shastri Annexe Bhawan on Friday. It is understood that Ms. Nagpal presented her case before the senior officials.