UP minister's brother resigns as assistant professor amid row over appointment

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Siddharthnagar (UP), May 26 (PTI) Facing opposition flak, Uttar Pradesh minister Satish Chandra Dwivedi's brother Arun Dwivedi, whose appointment as assistant professor at a university here under the economically weaker section quota sparked a row, resigned on Wednesday.

Speaking to news persons here on Wednesday, Arun Dwivedi said the registrar of Siddharth University, Rakesh Kumar, informed him that his resignation had been accepted.

“I was appointed on the post on the basis of my qualification as per the proper procedure, but it is my misfortune that soon after I joined, there has been an effort to tarnish the image of my elder brother by linking it (my appointment) to him in the media and social media,' he said.

The state minister's brother was appointed assistant professor in the psychology department of the university under the economically weaker section (EWS) quota on May 21.

The EWS quota applies to households with an annual income of less than Rs 8 lakh.

Arun Dwivedi asserted that the appointment was made on the basis of his qualifications as he is a PhD, a gold medallist in MA, and has done his JRF and SRF from the Defence Institute of Psychological Research (DIPR), DRDO.

He said that 17 of his research papers were published, adding that he has edited a book as well. He cited severe mental stress due to the controversy over the appointment as the reason behind his resignation.

'I do not want baseless allegations levelled against my brother because of me. I cannot bear this. There is nothing more important than the social and political honour of my brother and my family, not even this important post. And so, with full responsibility, I have given my resignation today,' Arun Dwivedi said.

He said he had applied for the post in November 2019 with an EWS certificate issued to him based on his economic condition at the time. And even though he got married to a woman working in the education department later, it was his right to keep the certificate, he said.

Arun Dwivedi further said that he had got the job after completion of all formalities, including an interview, and his brother had no role in it.

'Being the brother of a minister proved to be a curse for me,' he said terming the allegations levelled against him as “baseless”.

Arun Dwivedi said his ancestral property is less than what is mentioned as the criteria for EWS certificate and no firm is registered in his name, as being discussed by people.

However, as the development triggered a controversy, the university's vice-chancellor, professor Surendra Dubey, had to come out with a statement saying the appointment would be cancelled if any irregularity was found.

'The entire process was transparent and the interview was video-graphed. EWS certificate is issued by the administration and if any irregularity is found, the appointment would be cancelled,' he had said.

Dubey had stressed that the university would initiate 'penal action' if Arun Dwivedi's EWS certificate was found to be fake.

The university had invited applications for two posts, one under the EWS quota and the other in the Other Backward Classes category.

The vice-chancellor said he did not know that Arun Dwivedi was Satish Chandra Dwivedi's brother and it had come to light through social media.

He also said that for the two posts, 150 applications were received, and based on merit, 10 applicants were short-listed, including that of Arun Dwivedi.

Meanwhile, Sub-Divisional Magistrate of Itwa tehsil Utkarsh Srivastava said that the EWS certificate was made in November 2019, while following all the guidelines and rules.

According to the Union Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, people who are not covered under the scheme of reservation for SCs, STs and OBCs and whose family has gross annual income below Rs 8 lakh are to be identified as EWS for benefit of reservation.

Income shall also include earnings from all sources including salary, agriculture, business, and profession for the financial year prior to the year of application.

People whose family owns or possesses any of the following assets shall be excluded from being identified as EWS, irrespective of the family income -- 5 acres of agricultural land and above; residential flat of 1,000 sq ft. and above; residential plot of 100 sq. yards and above in notified municipalities; residential plot of 200 sq. yards and above in areas other than the notified municipalities The opposition parties in the state slammed Arun Dwivedi’s appointment.

Uttar Pradesh Congress chief Ajay Kumar Lallu on Sunday demanded that the appointment of Arun Dwivedi be immediately cancelled and the role of his brother in the episode be probed.

While Samajwadi Party MLC Ashutosh Sinha termed it as an example of the blatant misuse of government machinery to benefit the near and dear ones of those in power. PTI CORR SAB/NAV RHL