Official touches Mulayam’s feet, sparks row

Lucknow (IANS) Opposition parties lashed out at the ruling Samajwadi Party after photographic evidence that state-owned UP Rajkiya Nirman Nigam’s managing director R.K. Goel publicly touched the feet of SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav at a rally in Mainpuri on Sunday.

SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav. PTI file photo

Accusing the SP of “politicising state bureaucracy and forcing government officials and employees into submission”, BJP state unit spokesman Vijay Bahadur Pathak said the public display of “personal loyalty” setting aside official decorum, by a high-ranking official of the state government proved that “the  bureaucracy has been hounded or allured into submission”.

“The bureaucracy in the state is too weak to offset the pressures of the  powers that be and hence the Sunday incident is a sad reminder that if one has to survive in Uttar Pradesh he has either to bow down to the power system or perish as has been the case with many officials who have not fallen in line,” the BJP leader told IANS. Leaders of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) also slammed the incident.

“There is lawlessness everywhere in the Akhilesh Yadav government. You cannot expect anything better. While all those who are criminals are prospering, the officials have been boxed into a corner,” a senior BSP leader said.

Social activist Nutan Thakur said the clean chit given by Lokayukta N.K. Mehrotra in her complaint against UP Rajkiya Nirman Nigam MD R.K. Goel has direct linkage to the public touching of the feet of SP chief Mulayam Singh.

She said she had given a complaint regarding irregularities in the tender process of supply and fixing of Mirzapur sandstone for the New Secretariat building, based on definite facts of Ms Lucknow Marble Industries having initiated the work even before completion of the tender process.

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