Samajwadi Party was today in a spot over its leader Narinder Bhati's controversial claim in a video that he got IAS officer Durga Shakti Nagpal, who clamped on the mining mafia, transferred in '41 minutes', with the opposition demanding that the Chief Minister step down.
The Allahabad High Court, meanwhile, sought a reply from the Centre and the state government on the illegal mining issue but declined to interfere in the suspension matter of the IAS officer.
Hearing a PIL on the suspension of the IAS officer, the Lucknow bench of the court comprising justices Devi Prasad Singh and Ashok Pal Singh sought reply as to how many FIRs were lodged, how many dumpers were seized and how many people were arrested after the suspension of Nagpal.
Two days after he denied his involvement in the suspension of the 28-year-old officer, Bhati told a rally in Gautam Budh Nagar that he got Nagpal transferred.
'I spoke to Mulayam Singh Yadav and Akhilesh Yadav at 10.30 AM and at 11 AM the suspension order arrived...She behaved so badly and couldn't last for 40 minutes after that.Within 41 minutes, the order came from Lucknow and she was suspended,' the video showed him as saying.
Nagpal, a 2010 batch IAS officer, was served the suspension order on July 27 ostensibly for demolishing the wall of a mosque.
Bhati, who is also the UP Agro Chairman and enjoys minister status, maintained that permission was not taken to build the wall around the place of worship.The wall was built to allow people to offer Ramzan prayers, he said.
Asked about the video clippings, he said, 'Media was highlighting a concocted version.I had said that it was a victory of democracy. SDM's suspension order was issued by state government'.
'I was quoted out of context in the so called visuals in some channels...Who am I to get an IAS transferred?' Bhati told PTI over phone.
'A day after the demolition of the wall a panchayat was called by Congress and BSP at Kadalpur village in which around 5000 people, who were agitated, assembled,' he said.
Bhati said that he also went to the village and told the mob that they were being provoked.'I only said that the government is alert and was working in their interest. I told them that I have informed them about the incident and the Chief Minister has suspended the SDM'.