‘Sidelined for Being a Dalit’: UP Minister in Adityanath Government Quits
In his resignation letter, Dinesh Khatik alleged corruption and irregular department transfers too.
In a setback for the Yogi Adityanath government, Uttar Pradesh Minister of State for Jalshakti Dinesh Khatik resigned on Wednesday, 20 July, alleging that he was "sidelined for being a Dalit."
Khatik, a two-time legislator, was inducted by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to his post in September last year.
"I was not given any importance because I am a Dalit. My working as a minister of state is a waste for the Dalit community. I am not called for any meeting and not told anything about my ministry," he wrote in his letter that has now gone viral on social media.
However, Khatik, who is from Meerut rubbished these claims when questioned by the local media there, news agency PTI reported.
"There is no such issue," he said.
Sources close to the minister also told PTI that he is on his way to Delhi to meet party leaders.
Meanwhile, amid speculations of Public Works Department (PWD) Minister Jitin Prasada meeting the BJP leadership in Delhi over discontentment with the Yogi government, the minister told ANI that he wasn't upset.
"No question of being upset. Working under UP CM's leadership to meet people's expectations. As far as meeting central leaders is concerned, can meet them whenever we get time. But I've no thoughts of meeting them as of now," he said.
Prasada, who was handed the Public Works Department (PWD), has come under the government's radar for corruption.
The Chief Minister's Office reportedly ordered an investigation, and several officials were found involved in the case, NDTV reported.
'Corruption, Irregular Transfers': Khatik Explains
"I am resigning because I am hurt," he said while complaining over irregular departmental transfers.
The minister, in an example, said that he had sought information about transfers in the department on 9 July, yet did not get a response despite speaking to top officials in the government.
“When I sought clarification, my phone was bluntly disconnected midway through the conversation and this is a big insult,” he added, accusing the top official in the irrigation department of insulting him and Dalits.
He added that the 'Namami Gange' scheme was riddled with corruption, as were departmental transfers and postings.
"This can be independently investigated by any agency," he claimed.
He further claimed that he had not been assigned work for 100 days.
This is, however, not the first time that this is happening. He threatened to resign last year over the reluctance of the police to act on his orders in a case involving a trader in Meerut.
Khatik, a two-time legislator, was inducted by CM Adityanath to his post in September last year. Khatik’s senior minister Swatantra Dev Singh, who is also the state BJP chief, had earlier shot down rumours that he was unhappy, Hindustan Times reported. “I talk to him daily,” said Singh.
'True Colours of PM Modi': Akhilesh, Trinamool React
Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav took to Twitter to slam the BJP government in the state.
"Understand the chronology of corruption and misgovernance in UP BJP government: First rebellion in the Ministry of Public Works Department; then rebellion in the Ministry of Health; now rebellion in the Ministry of Jal Shakti. The public is asking, the BJP government of UP should tell honestly… now whose turn is it next?" he tweeted in Hindi.
The All India Trinamool Congress said that the rising atrocities against Dalits in the state "reflects the true colours of PM Narendra Modi."
(With inputs from NDTV, Hindustan Times, and PTI.)
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