Allahabad: The Akhilesh Yadav government in Uttar Pradesh, which has been battling charges of abject failure to control law and order situation in the state, faced further embarrassment when a lawmaker of his party was caught on camera threatening an official from Allahabad district for his refusal to clear a file that had allegedly been pending before him.
Video footage shows Ajay Kumar Bharati, the lawmaker from Bara, an assembly seat lying next to Allahabad, barging into the office of programme officer Vijay Kumar Shrivastava to press for the release of Rs 10 lakh from the MLA development fund.
The officer protested, arguing that he could not clear the file without the approval of the Chief Development Officer, or the CDO.
The incident took place yesterday at the Vikas Bhawan in Allahabad.
"I am ready to do your work. But this file has to go to the CDO Saheb. Administration works according to rules. I told him, this is a popular government, which works according to rules. But he called up a few MLAs and village pradhans. Very soon, some 25-30 people assembled into my office, and held me captive. A few journalists also turned up. There was a scuffle, and things would have turned worse had the journalists not showed up,'' Mr Shrivastava said later, while recounting the incident.
Mr Bharati, however, remains unfazed by the allegations of high-handedness hurled at him. "If the charges are proved, I'll retire from political life. Is it wrong to say something in the presence of people? Is it wrong to raise people's voice ? I have not taken any wrong step,'' the ruling party lawmaker retorts.
He alleges that the officer had been demanding bribe from the aggrieved party.
"I'll raise the issue with the chief minister, the administration, and will even raise it in the state assembly,'' Mr Bharati adds.