"Happiness Minister" Is Now Missing, Madhya Pradesh Cops Hunt For Him

A year ago, Madhya Pradesh became the first state in India to create a happiness ministry, making headlines with the appointment of Lal Singh Arya.

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'Happiness Minister' Is Now Missing, Madhya Pradesh Cops Hunt For Him

Lal Singh Arya is wanted in connection with an alleged murder of a Congress leader in 2009


Bhopal: 

Highlights

  1. Lal Singh Arya was named Happiness Minister a year ago
  2. Among those accused of killing Congress leader in 2009
  3. Due in court on Tuesday, has gone missing, police launches hunt
The country's sole  "Happiness Minister" is the target of a massive hunt launched in Madhya Pradesh. Lal Singh Arya disappeared two days ago after a court ordered his arrest in a murder case.

Mr Arya, 53, is  wanted in connection with an alleged murder of  a Congress leader in 2009.  He is due in court on Tuesday. Sources said that Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who has led Madhya Pradesh for 12 years, may insist on Mr Arya resigning before then.

A year ago, Madhya Pradesh became the first state in India to create a happiness ministry, making headlines with the appointment of Mr Arya, who also handles five other ministries. 

"Police teams are still looking for him. We are positive that we will track him down by then," Prashant Khare, police superintendent in Bhind, told news agency AFP.

The minister was not found at his residence on Tuesday, the Press Trust of India reported.

Mr Arya was tasked by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan in January with ensuring "the happiness and tolerance" of the state's  citizens.

The happiness ministry is modelled on the "gross national happiness" index used by Bhutan as a measure of its success.

Madhya Pradesh hopes for its own such "happiness index", and has promised social programs including yoga, meditation and free religious pilgrimages for senior citizens.


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