(NEWS) Row over District Magistrate's alleged letter to Mayawati

Row over District Magistrate's alleged letter to Mayawati

Atiq Khan

The bureaucrat denies writing to BSP chief, sees conspiracy

LUCKNOW: A letter purportedly written by the District Magistrate of Banda, Prabhu Dayal Shrivaas, to Bahujan Samaj Party president Mayawati asking for allotment of a BSP ticket for next year's Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections after his retirement in February 2007 has landed the bureaucrat in trouble.

Taking a serious view of the matter, Mr. Shrivaas was summoned by the State Chief Secretary, Naveen Chandra Bajpai, here on Thursday. The District Magistrate met Mr. Bajpai and presented his version. Before meeting the Chief Secretary, Mr. Shrivaas called on the Secretary, Appointment and Personnel Department, Umesh Sinha.

Talking to The Hindu , the District Magistrate dismissed the letter as an act of forgery aimed at tarnishing his image. "The entire letter is forged, including my signature. The information given in the letter regarding my educational qualifications and the place of my early schooling is fake. Moreover, the letter which was faxed to local newspaper offices had the fax number of the Banda SP's office, whereas the District Magistrate has a separate office," said Mr. Shrivaas.

He said the Chief Secretary and the Appointment Secretary had been apprised of the facts.

The matter surfaced last month when the letter was carried by some Banda newspapers. An inquiry was soon ordered by the District Magistrate.

The letter -- a copy of which is with The Hindu -- dated August 16, 2006, was written on the District Magistrate's official letterhead. Addressed to the BSP president, it says that one of her old lieutenants, currently a Cabinet Minister in the UP Government, Bishambhar Prasad Nishad, was instrumental in getting him the appointment as Banda's District Magistrate. The letter goes on to say that he (Mr. Shrivaas) was a resident of Gohand town in Hamirpur district but belonged to Girwa village in Banda district.

Stating that he is due to retire in February 2007, he expresses his desire to contest next year's Assembly elections as a BSP candidate either from Naraini in Banda district or Konch in Hamirpur district.