Satish Misra to quit government: Mayawati


Lucknow : Satish Chandra Mishra, a close political aide of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati, is to quit as minister without portfolio in the state government in order to help establish the ruling Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) more firmly among upper castes across India, Mayawati disclosed Wednesday.

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He will quit his post within two-and-a-half months, she added.

"Misra was reluctant to take up a minister's position because he was aware of the larger role I have assigned him – to carry out our future mission of establishing the party's credentials with the upper castes in different states of the country," Mayawati told a press conference here.

"Misra will resign in the next two-and-a-half months to undertake that mission – and I am making his declaration here today so that you all do not start giving your own imaginary attributes to his resignation then," she told the reporters present at the press conference.

Mayawati's surprise disclosure and rebuke to the press came as she strongly defended the appointment of several relatives and associates of Misra to key positions in the BSP government.

"If Misra's relatives have been appointed in various positions, it was not on his recommendation, but in recognition of the services rendered by him and his dedication towards the party," the chief minister declared.

Misra is thought to be the architect of the BSP's recent victory in the Uttar Pradesh general elections, but has come under a cloud after a television channel Tuesday listed his relatives who have been appointed in the new government.

They include his sister Abha Agnihotri as chairperson of the state women's commission and cousin Ankit Kumar Misra as health minister – even though he lost the election from Kanpur.

Mayawati also hit out at media reports about her wealth – listed in the affidavit accompanying her nomination papers for a vacant seat in the Rajya Sabha.

She said the bulk of her assets, amounting to Rs.520 million and acquired over the past three years, was received as "gifts" from party workers.

"Each penny is accounted for and explained before income-tax authorities," she added.