A day after the Uttar Pradesh Lokayukta recommended his dismissal on charges of owning disproportionate assets, Chief Minister Mayawati on Wednesday sacked Secondary Education Minister Rangnath Misra and Labour Minister Badshah Singh, who too is under the scanner of the anti-graft ombudsmen.
Cracking the whip, the chief minister has also ordered a vigilance inquiry against the two ministers, state president of Bahujan Samaj Party Swami Prasad Maurya said in a statement.
Both the ministers have been asked to fight the graft cases in court and if they are proved innocent, they would be reinstated in the ministry, the statement said.
Earlier, on the basis of the Lokayukta report, Animal Husbandry Minister Avadhpal Singh Yadav and Religious Endowment minister Rajesh Tripathi had also lost their ministerial berths.
Claiming that the BSP is the only party which has taken stern action against leaders and workers facing corruption and criminal charges, Maurya said that both Misra and Singh have been removed from their posts to ensure a free and fair inquiry.
The state BSP chief accused the opposition parties of indulging in "petty politics" and claimed that their governments in other states were not acting on Lokayukta reports.
"This step has also been taken so that opposition parties do not misuse this issue to indulge in unnecessary politics," he said.
Stressing that the BSP came into being to fight against the criminalisation of politics and corruption, Maurya cited action taken by "it time and again against its leaders, ministers and Members of Parliament to stop anyone from damaging the image of the party".
He said the ministers had met the chief minister and told her how the opposition parties "were framing them in order to tarnish their image" and also said that they were contesting their cases as per the law.
The chief minister has also ordered vigilance inquiries in connection with the charges faced by Avadhpal Singh Yadav.
Lokayukta Justice N K Mehrotra, in his report to Mayawati, said an inquiry had found Misra guilty of possessing assets disproportionate to his known sources of income as well as illegal possession of gram sabha land.
The Lokayukta had recommended lodging of a case against the minister under the Prevention of Corruption Act and an inquiry either by the Central Bureau of Investigation or the Vigilance Department.
In another case against Misra, the Lokayukta has recommended punitive action against him in connection with the gram sabha land possession case.
Pending further action, Justice Mehrotra had said he has recommended that the minister be removed from his post.