Lucknow: Days after Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav warned two state ministers to "mend" their ways or face the sack, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav today removed them from his ministry.
Anand Kumar Singh, a cabinet minister with the agriculture portfolio, and Manoj Paras, a minister of state with the stamp and civil defence department were sacked on Sunday.
Though no reason was cited by the government for this, party sources claim Mr Yadav was unhappy with Mr Singh's son Kirtivardhan, for joining the BJP.
Kirtivardhan had in a press conference in Gonda on Saturday attacked Mr Yadav, accusing him of propagating dynastic politics. He had even alleged that he had to pay a "bribe" of Rs 5000 to meet Mr Yadav when he was the chief minister even though he was a party MP.
The charge was denied by the Samajwadi Party.
"In 2004, when Mr Yadav was CM, I had to give Rs 5000 packet to his personal secretary to meet him in the capacity of MP," Kirtivardhan told reporters.
According to party sources, Mr Paras was also involved in anti-party activities and Mr Yadav had received complaints against him.
With their sacking, the leadership intends to send out a strong message to party men ahead of the Lok Sabha election.
Voicing dissatisfaction with the performance of state ministers, Mr Yadav had on Wednesday said that the state government was "weakening" the party and had ticked off his son and chief minister Akhilesh Yadav asking him to keep distance from "sycophants".
"I have not reviewed the performance of ministers in the state government but I know what they are doing. Ministers and officers, you all should mend your ways within 10 days...The party is bigger than the government...This government is weakening the party," Mr Yadav had said pulling up the Akhilesh government.
"Some persons are trying to betray me and think that they will continue as ministers...," he had warned.
The agriculture department will now be looked after by the chief minister while the department held by Mr Paras will remain with cabinet minister Mahendra Aridaman Singh, the sources said.