Gayatri Prajapati the rape accused who is absconding from the police for weeks now is leading in his constituency Amethi and expected to win has proved that the muscle power still has some relevance. Gayatri wields a lot of influence in his constituency despite the charges against him and BJP taking his name in its high octane campaign. He is also under Lokayukta scanner for having amassed huge wealth. Gayatri Prajapati’s story is one is a non-inspiring story of rags to riches. From a BPL cardholder to a powerful minister in the Akhilesh Yadav cabinet to a rape accused on the run — life has been a topsy-turvy ride for Gayatri Prajapati over the last five years.
In 2012, Prajapati was a Below Poverty Line (BPL) card holder, which means he hardly had any money to live the lavish life of a minister. But things began to change soon after he won his first Assembly election in 2012 from Amethi. This was his fourth attempt where he defeated Amita Singh of the Congress in the Gandhi family pocket-borough. After this, he was known for his proximity with Samajwadi Party founder Mulayam Singh Yadav and his brother Shivpal.
Almost a year after this, Prajapati was inducted into Akhilesh Yadav’s cabinet, apparently at the directions of Shivpal, as Minister of State for Irrigation. Few months later, Prajapati was made MoS (independent charge) and was given the mining department. The year after that, he was promoted and was made a Cabinet-rank minister in charge of the mining department.
The ride started to get bumpy for him when, in 2015, Lucknow-based social activist and wife of IPS Amitabh Thakur, Nutan Thakur, approached the Lokayukta with proof gathered via RTI against Prajapati for accruing illegal wealth. There were other complaints against the minister too, but most of them withdrew complaints saying they did not have enough proof against him.