Uttar Pradesh Governor to Akhilesh: Why is rape-accused minister still in cabinet?

Keshav Prasad Maurya, UP BJP chief, said that Akhilesh has not yet sacked the minister and that he is contesting the assembly polls despite facing serious allegations of rape. Photograph:( DNA )

WION New Delhi, Delhi, India Mar 05, 2017, 11.56 AM (IST)

Uttar Pradesh Governor has written to chief minister Akhilesh Yadav asking for reasons to retain Gayatri Prajapati as a minister, PTI reported quoting Raj Bhawan sources

Gayatri Prajapati has been booked in a rape case. He is accused of raping and sexually harassing a woman from Uttar Pradesh's Bundelkhand region for two years.

The Akhilesh Yadav-led government in Uttar Pradesh has come under sharp attack from the BJP for not initiating any action against the tainted minister.

Earlier, Kalraj Mishra, union minister of micro, small and medium enterprises, on Sunday assured that the absconding minister will be arrested once the BJP government comes to power.  

BJP also termed the issuing of a non-bailable warrant against him as a hoax and said that the hysteria being created by the Akhilesh Yadav-led government is to fool the people, ANI reported.

Keshav Prasad Maurya, Uttar Pradesh BJP chief, said that Akhilesh has not yet sacked the minister and that he is contesting the assembly polls despite facing serious allegations of rape.

"All of it is drama staged by the Akhilesh government. After a case was registered against him (Prajapati), he was seen roaming around the Chief Minister. He is fighting the elections. What does the Akhilesh government wants to prove by issuing a non-bailable warrant against Prajapati?" asked Maurya. 

"He is the part of Akhilesh`s Cabinet. He has not been removed from his ministerial post. He was hiding at the Chief Minister`s residence for two days then was shifted to another place. The police has not able to arrest him. If he absconds from the country, I will hold Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav responsible for it," he added.

On February 20, Prajapati moved the top court seeking protection from arrest and recalling of its earlier order where it had asked the Uttar Pradesh Police to register a case against him in connection with rape and sexual harassment, ANI reported.
 
Earlier, the woman had approached the top court after the Uttar Pradesh Police did not register the FIR, following which the top court ordered the police to file a status report in the matter within eight weeks.

(WION with inputs from agencies)