New Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav on Thursday defended
his move to induct independent MLA from Kunda, Raghuraj Pratap Singh or
Raja Bhaiyya, in his Cabinet.
There are eight pending criminal cases against Raja Bhaiya, according to
reports. The charges include attempt to murder, voluntarily causing
grievous hurt, kidnapping or abducting in order to murder dacoity and
illegal payments in connection with an election.
However, addressing his first press conference as the chief minister of
the state, Akhilesh said the cases against Raja Bhaiya were politically
"If you check the dates of cases lodged against Raja Bhaiya, you will know
who is behind him," Akhilesh said.
Bhaiya has been a minister before in a Mulayam Singh Yadav government. The
MLA was arrested in 2002 on charges of kidnapping and was later jailed by
the then Mayawati government under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA),
charges which were dropped the moment Mulayam Singh Yadav came to power in
The inclusion of Raja Bhaiya in the Cabinet came as a surprise, given the
young chief minister's efforts to distance Samajwadi Party from the past
tag of 'goonda raj'.
- with PTI inputs
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