Maya for bird sanctuary; controversial MLA in trouble again

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Lucknow, Jan 4 (UNI) Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati today cancelled the order of the previous Mulayam Singh Yadav government, which had de-notified the bird santuary at Beti in Pratapgarh district.

The decision has put controversial Independent MLA Raghuraj Pratap Singh alias Raja Bhaiyya, who once owned the property, into trouble. Raja Bhaiyya is said to be close to the Samajwadi Party supremo.

The former Chief Minister had de-notified the existence of Beti as a bird sanctuary on June 30, 2006 against the July 16, 2003, order of the then Mayawati government, which had notified Beti as Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar Pakshi Vihar.

Ms Mayawati told mediapersons here the government took the decision as the de-notification process by the previous government was ''illegal and against the Supreme Court's ruling''.

'' The previous government did not take the approval of the National Wildlife Board before de-notifying the bird santuary, which was mandatory as per the SC directives,'' she said.

Soon after coming to power in May last year, the Mayawati government made efforts to re-notify the 'Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar Pakshi Vihar' and shelved the much-hyped Lion Safari proposed to be set up in Etawah, the hometown of Mr Yadav. The Lion Safari project was initiated by the previous SP government to encourage eco-tourism in the state. But the present government cited huge expenses as the reason to shelve the project.

Controversial MLA Raghuraj Pratap Singh was never comfortable with the Mayawati government and was even jailed during the previous stint of Ms Mayawati as the Chief Minister.

The sitting MLA has a number of criminal cases pending against him. On December 29 last year, the Hazratganj police lodged a case of fraud against Raghuraj Pratap Singh. According to an FIR, Raghuraj had provided false information to procure three arms licences from Lucknow.

UNI NAB/MB HS RN1858

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