Mayawati suspends senior bureaucrat in Rae Bareli row

October 23rd, 2008 - 10:41 pm ICT by IANS  

Sonia GandhiLucknow, Oct 23 (IANS) Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati Thursday suspended Principal Revenue Secretary Balwinder Kumar for allotting land for a rail coach factory in Rae Bareli, the constituency of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, without the approval of the state cabinet.The move Thursday evening seems to be an obvious way out of the land row arising out of cancellation of land allotted by the state government for setting up India’s third rail coach factory in Rae Bareli.

Kumar has already been shifted to an innocuous job as member (judicial), Board of Revenue.

Members of the elite Indian Administrative Service (IAS) believe that Kumar, who is reputed to be an upright and efficient officer, was being made a “scapegoat”.

While Kumar declined to comment, it was widely believed that he had been targeted to prove the chief minister’s assertion that the cancellation of allotment of land was done purely on technical grounds and not on account of her escalating differences with the Congress and its chief Sonia Gandhi.

The state government withdrew the 400 acres of land it had given for a proposed factory in Lalganj town of Rae Bareli on Oct 11. Northern Railway had filed a writ petition, along with a public interest litigation (PIL) by villagers of Rae Bareli, on Oct 13 against the withdrawal.

The cancellation was ordered a day before Sonia Gandhi was to arrive in Rae Bareli for ‘bhumi pujan’ to mark the foundation laying of the factory.

Mayawati later withdrew her cancellation order.

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