Lucknow: In a big embarrassment to the Yogi Adityanath-led BJP government in Uttar Pradesh, a senior Cabinet Minister - Om Prakash Rajbhar - on Saturday took up a spade and started construction of a 'pitiable' road outside his house in a Varanasi village.
Rajbhar, who also heads the Suhaildev Bahujan Samaj Party (SBSP), lives in Fatehpur Khonda village of Varanasi.
According to reports, the road outside his residence was in a bad shape for years and the minister had made several requests to the concerned department of the state government to get it repaired, but to no avail.
Miffed over this, the minister decided to take up a spade and began constructing the road himself. He was soon joined by several villagers and his supporters.
The Backward Classes Welfare and Disabled People Development Minister, who was sporting a yellow turban - symbolic of his party - when he was recorded on camera levelling the road and clearing the mud himself.
Later, talking to reporters an apparently upset minister accused the state government of paying no heed to his request, which he made six months ago, for the construction of a road outside his house in the village.
Varanasi: UP Min OP Rajbhar started repairing road that led to his home in Pindra's Phatehpur Katauna, said, 'had requested for mending of the road 2.5 months ago, but found it in the same condition on the day of my son's wedding. So I picked up spade & ppl from society followed' pic.twitter.com/yK0clQ7oUs
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) June 23, 2018
"If a minister cannot get a road made, just think of what people would be going through," the angry son of Rajbhar said.
Rajbhar's elder son Arvind Rajbhar was married on June 21 and the reception is scheduled at his native village on Sunday, which is likely to be attended by many VVIPs and dignitaries, including BJP national president Amit Shah, state Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Organisational Secretary of the party Sunil Bansal and many state ministers.
Arun Rajbhar, national general secretary of the SBSP, said the Minister and his family had brought to the attention of the district administration and senior officials about the pitiable condition of the road and the impending wedding for the last six months but the "petitions had fallen on deaf ears".
"We were left with no option but to start working ourselves as there is very little time for the marriage reception," Arun Rajbhar said.
Rajbhar has been critical of Yogi Adityanath government for the past one year and has publicly castigated the alleged wrongs of the state government of which he is a part of.
He revolted and almost voted against the BJP candidates in the Rajya Sabha biennial elections in April until Amit Shah intervened and salvaged the near-certain embarrassment for the ruling party.
Earlier this month, Rajbhar also met senior SP leader Shivpal Singh Yadav, triggering speculation of a possible realignment of the backward forces in the state in the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
(With IANS inputs)