This Article is From Apr 14, 2013

UP minister allegedly says will build roads like 'cheeks of actresses', sacked

Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh Khadi and Village Industry Minister Raja Ram Pandey, who triggered a controversy by allegedly promising to get roads in Pratapgarh district constructed "like cheeks of actresses Hema Malini and Madhuri Dixit", was sacked on Saturday.

"Governor B L Joshi in consultation with Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has relieved minister Raja Ram Pandey from his post," a notification signed by chief secretary Javed Usmani said.

The Chief Minister, who is already holding charge of 61 departments, has been given the additional charge of Khadi and Village industry.

During his visit to Pratapgarh on Friday, Raja Ram Pandey had allegedly said roads would be constructed "like the cheeks of actresses Hema Malini and Madhuri Dixit".

The minister's statement evoked sharp criticism from political parties and social organisations.

"Such a statement is unwarranted from a person occupying an important and responsible post of a minister," BJP's chief spokesman Vijay Bahadur Pathak said.

This is not the first time he has landed himself in trouble for making such remarks.

In February this year, the minister went overboard allegedly praising the beauty of a senior lady bureaucrat at a function in Sultanpur in her presence.

Raja Ram Pandey had also allegedly said that he was lucky the district also had a lady district magistrate the last time he was in charge of Sultanpur.