Stung by his minister's insolent indulgence in a blatant case of abduction of a government official, Samajwadi Party president Mulayam Singh Yadav on Friday issued a stern warning to all ministers and party leaders urging them to behave or face the music.
Speaking at a special function organised at the Lohia Park in Lucknow to mark the 45th death anniversary of his party ideologue and highly rated socialist leader Dr Ram Manohar Lohia, the SP patriarch said, "I am keeping a vigilant eye on the activities of all ministers; and let it be loud and clear that any behaviour unbecoming of the high office they are holding, will not miss my attention."
Yadav's comments came following the resignation of revenue and rehabilitation minister Vinod Kumar Singh alias Pandit Singh, who has been accused of abducting the state chief medical officer Gonda S P Singh.
Without spelling out the name of Pandit, Mulayam told the gathering, which included a bulk of Samajwadi Party government ministers, "It is high time that everyone mends his ways and any kind of insolent behaviour will not be tolerated."
Visibly agitated, he went on to add, "All ministers must remember that I have each one's dossier with me and they ought to understand that the party was getting weakened on account of the undesirable acts by certain ministers."
Meanwhile, even as SP spokesperson Mohan Singh explicitly stated in New Delhi that Pandit had been asked to step down, the latter asserted that he had quit on "moral grounds."
He further sought to accuse his own party colleagues, government officials and the media for putting him in the dock.
"I have committed no crime; it is a frame-up and I am victim of conspiracy by some of my own party colleagues, government officials and the press," he told media persons.
It may be recalled that the errant UP minister had created a sensation by barging into the official residence of Gonda district chief medical officer Dr S P Singh late Wednesday evening, dragging him to the CMO office where he tried forcing him to make major alterations in the list of Ayurvedic doctors being recruited on contract under the National Rural Health Mission.
The minister was demanding that each of the 16 vacancies be filled by doctors recommended by him -- a demand that the CMO expressed his inability to fulfil.
The CMO managed to get out of the clutches of the ministers and his henchmen by slipping into the toilet from where he made a call to his colleagues who reported the matter to the district magistrate and the local media following which the poor man could set himself free. The district magistrate also rose to the occasion and helped the CMO to slip away to Lucknow.
Meanwhile, the CMO's family is still in panic. His son, Dr Shailendra Singh told mediapersons, "I still do not know where my father is at present; we are really terribly scared as the memory of the gory murders of three CMOs in Lucknow is still fresh in everyone's mind."
The incident has once again thrown light on the large scale corruption in recruitments in the Uttar Pradesh government, where both politicians and bureaucrats indulge in sale of posts with impunity.