Lucknow: Cracking the whip on tainted ministers ahead of UP assembly polls, Chief Minister Mayawati on Wednesday sacked Secondary Education Minister Rangnath Misra on a recommendation by Lokayukt, which probed disproportionate assets charges against him, and Labour Minister Badshah Singh, also under scanner of the anti-graft ombudsmen.

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The Opposition, however, mounted attack on the Chief Minister, who has removed four ministers on the basis Lokayukta reports-- three of them since September, saying it
was "not enough" and Mayawati should herself resign as she faced "similar charges".

"There should not be different yardsticks for ministers and Chief Minister," state BJP spokesman Vijay Pathak said.

Lokayukta Justice N K Mehrotra had recommended removal of Misra after finding him guilty of possessing assets disproportionate to his known sources of income as well as
illegal possession of gram sabha land.

An inquiry is also pending against Badshah Singh, who had been accused of grabbing gram sabha land in Mahobda.

State president of BSP Swami Prasad Maurya said Misra has been removed along with his colleague Badshah Singh. The Chief Minister has also ordered vigilance inquiry against the
ministers.

Both the ministers have been asked to fight the graft cases in court and if they are proved innocent, they would be reinstated in the ministry, he said in a statement quoting
Mayawati.

On the basis of the Lokayukt reports, Animal Husbandry Minister Avadhpal Singh Yadav was removed last month while Religious Endowment Minister Rajesh Tripathi lost his ministerial berth in December.

Claiming that BSP is the only party which has taken stern action against even its leaders and workers facing corruption and criminal charges, Maurya said that both Misra and Singh
have been removed so as to ensure free and fair inquiry.

The state BSP chief accused the opposition parties of indulging in "petty politics" and claimed that their governments in other states were not acting on Lokayukt reports.

Congress spokesman Subodh Srivasatav said that though some ministers have been dismissed, "the real source of corruption in Uttar Pradesh is the Chief Minister for whom all
of them are collecting funds through illegal means".

"They (ministers) are merely keeping a part of what they had collected for the Chief Minister and so action against just of couple of them is insufficient," Srivastava said while terming the dismissal of ministers as a "drama".

"The dismissal of two ministers is not sufficient. Inquiry should also be conducted against Mayawati who is also facing similar charges and she should immediately resign from the post," Samajwadi Party spokesman Rajendra Chaudhary said.

The BJP said when the ministers have been removed on corruption "charges to ensure free and fair inquiry, continuance of Mayawati, who also faces similar charges, on the post is unethical." The party spokesman also demanded that all ministers in Mayawati government declare their assets immediately.

Mayawati has also ordered vigilance inquiry in charges faced against Avadhpal Singh Yadav.

Meanwhile, terming vigilance inquiry against Misra as a "big joke", Swami Nath Misra who had lodged a complaint against him before the Lokayukt said that he would soon move
court seeking an inquiry by a Central agency.

"Ordering a vigilance inquiry against Misra is a big joke as it (Vigilnce department) comes under the government and I would move the High Court seeking inquiry by a Central agency after Dussehra," Misra, who is also former president of the district bar association, said in Badohi.

Following removal of the Mishra and Singh, senior cabinet ministers Naseemuddin Siddiqui and Indrajeet Saroj have been allocated secondary education and labour departments
respectively, an official spokesman said here.

The Lokayukta had said after submitting his report on Monday that he had recommended lodging of a case against Misra under the Prevention of Corruption Act and an inquiry either
by CBI or Vigilance Department.

In another case against Misra, the Lokayukta has recommended punitive action against him in connection with the gram sabha land possession case.

Will move HC for probe against Misra: Swami Nath

Terming vigilance probe against dismissed UP minister Rangnath Misra as a "big joke", Swami Nath Misra, who had lodged a complaint against him before the Lokayukta, on Wednesday said that he would soon move high court seeking an inquiry by a central agency.

"Ordering a vigilance inquiry against Misra is a big joke as it (Vigilance department) comes under the government and I would move the High Court seeking inquiry by a central agency after Dussehra," Swami Nath Misra said here.

Misra, who is also former president of the district bar association and had lodged a complaint against the minister in August 2010, said that there is clear recommendation in the Lokayukta's report that since it could not probe his assets outside the state, an inquiry by a competent agency be ordered against him.

 Misra demanded that a case should be immediately lodged against the dismissed minister.

The Lokayukta had also recommended lodging of a case against the minister under the Prevention of Corruption Act and an inquiry either by CBI or Vigilance Department.

In another case against Misra, the Lokayukta had recommended punitive action against him in connection with the gram sabha land possession case.

(JPN/Bureau/Agencies)