LUCKNOW: UP cabinet minister Gayatri Prajapati went underground as police closed in on him on Tuesday in a rape case lodged against him on Supreme Court directions.
The state police got cracking after the apex court prodded the government into taking action against Prajapati. The controversial minister was earlier sacked with others by CM Akhilesh Yadav from his ministry but Prajapati was reinstated. Known to be a Mulayam Singh Yadav loyalist, Prajapati is the Amethi SP candidate, although the CM refused to allow him on stage when he went there to campaign.
Days ahead of the remaining two phases of polling, the CM may be at pains to explain why Prajapati was reinstated. His rivals may question his clean-up effort. PM Narendra Modi has stung the SP government on law and order saying: "There's a party in UP that sings the Gayatri Prajapati mantra every morning".
Police aren't taking chances on collecting evidence, for the probe is being tracked by the SC, which has sought a report by April 7. SC, on February 17, directed UP police to regis ter a case against Prajapati on the complaint of a Chitrakoot resident who alleged that the minister had raped her. Next day , a case of rape was booked against Prajapati and seven of his associates.