Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Saturday sacked his Khadi and Village Industry Minister Raja Ram Pandey after his sexist remarks about Bollywood actresses’ cheeks spark controversy.
    
"Governor BL Joshi in consultation with Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has relieved minister Raja Ram Pandey from his post from Saturday evening," 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, 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 Spokesperson Vijay Bahadur Pathak said.
    
This is not the first time Pandey 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.

(Agencies)

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