Controversial Kunda MLA Raghuraj Pratap Singh “Raja Bhaiya” was re-inducted in the Akhilesh Yadav Ministry on Friday after a gap of seven months. He resigned the next day after the murder of DSP Zia-ul-Haque’s at Balipur village in Pratapgarh district on March 2, 2013. The move to re-induct him is said to have been governed by political compulsions with the Samajwadi Party eyeing the Thakur or Kshatriya voters considering that the BJP is also trying to manage the Thakur votes.
Raja Bhaiya was administered the oath of office by Governor B.L. Joshi in a simple ceremony in Raj Bhavan. This was the fourth Cabinet expansion by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav. Party president Mulayam Singh Yadav and senior Ministers Mohammad Azam Khan and Shivpal Singh Yadav were present.
Raja Bhaiya, who has eight criminal cases against him, was booked for criminal conspiracy in the DSP murder case and named in the FIR lodged by the police officer’s wife, Parveen Azad. Before stepping down, he was the Food and Civil Supplies and Prisons Minister.
Talking to reporters after being sworn in as Minister, he thanked “Netaji” [Mr. Mulayam Singh Yadav) and the Chief Minister for showing faith in him. He was willing to fulfil any responsibility entrusted to him. He reiterated that he was framed in the DSP murder case and that he himself had demanded a CBI probe into the incident and agreed for anarco-analysis test.
Raja Bhaiya assailed the “media trial” in the DSP murder case, saying he was held guilty even before probe started. The criminal cases against him were the result of witch-hunting when the BSP was in power. He denied he was brought in to influence the Thakur voters.
In July, Raja Bhaiya was given a clean chit by the CBI and since then speculation was rife that he would be taken back in the Ministry. He met the party president after this.