Raghuraj Pratap Singh
|Raghuraj Pratap Singh alias Raja Bhaiya|
|Minister of Food & Civil Supplies|
15 March 2012-till date
|Member of Legislative Assembly|
1993–1996, 1996–2002, 2002–2007, 2007–2012, 2012–present
|Preceded by||Shiv Narain Mishra|
|Minister of Food and Civil Supplies|
|Minister of Sports and Youth Welfare|
|Minister of Programme Implementation|
31 October 1968 |
Kunda, Pratapgarh, India
|Political party||Independent, currently supporting Samajwadi Party|
|Children||Two sons & Two daughters|
|Residence||Kunda, Pratapgarh, Uttar Pradesh|
|As of 25 April, 2013|
Raghuraj Pratap Singh (born 31 October 1968) popularly known as Raja Bhaiya is an independent M.L.A. hails from royal Bhadri (estate) of Oudh, presently representing fifth term as Member of Legislative Assembly from his native assembly constituency Kunda, Uttar Pradesh. He is cabinet minister of Uttar Pradesh in ministry of Minister of Food and Civil Supplies in Akhilesh government.
On 15 March 2012, he was assigned the ministry of Food and Civil Supplies as well as the Prison ministry in the newly elected Akhilesh Yadav government. On 4 March 2013, Raghuraj resigned as minister from Akhilesh's cabinet when his name was surfaced in conspiracy murder of Deputy Superintendent Officer Zia Ul Haq in Kunda.
Early life and education
Raghuraj, a Kashyap Rajput, was born to a Kashyap Rajput Family Raja Uday Pratap Singh in 1968. His grandfather Raja Bajrang Bahadur Singh was the founder vice-chancellor of Pant Nagar Agriculture University and later the second governor of Himachal Pradesh state. Raghuraj was the first in his family to enter politics; his father is largely a recluse. Raghuraj's grand father had adopted his nephew Raja Uday Pratap Singh as his son.
Raghuraj completed his primary education from Mahaprabhu Bal Vidayalaya Narayni Asram Shivkuti, Allahabad, high school from Bharat Scout H.S. School in the year 1985, intermediate from Colonel Ganj Inter College Allahabad in the year 1987, and law graduation at Lucknow University.
He contested and won the state elections from the Kunda seat in 1993, as an Independent. He was officially 26 years old, but was possibly underage at the time.
In the Indian general election, 1999, he put up Akshay Pratap Singh against the incumbent Ratna Singh (als from a related family). It is in this election that Raghuraj started using strongarm and criminal intimidation tactics. In the years 1997, 1999 and 2000, he was made minister in the BJP governments of Kalyan Singh, Ram Prakash Gupta and Rajnath Singh respectively. For the 2004 elections, he changed his stand and began supporting Samajwadi Party which made him minister in the 2004 Mulayam Singh Yadav government and the 2012 Akhilesh Yadav government. In March 2013, he had to resign from the Akhilesh Yadav cabinet after he was booked for the murder of Deputy Superintendent of Police Zia-ul-Haque.
Later he joined politics and became a cabinet minister in the newly elected SP government led by Mulayam Singh Yadav's son Akhilesh Yadav. He was assigned the Food and Civil Supplies ministry as well as prison department.
2004 Loksabha election
His cousin and political follower Akshay Pratap Singh alias Gopalji won the 2004 elections to the 14th Lok Sabha from Pratapgarh. Much of his campaign against Congress leader, Ratna Singh (from a related branch of the family), was planned from the jail premises where Raja Bhaiya was incarcerated.
In the, Uttar Pradesh state elections, 2007, he was overwhelmingly elected from Kunda with a margin of nearly half the votes cast over Shiv Prakash Mishra of the Bahujan Samaj Party. He had stood as an Independent, supported by the Samajwadi Party. He also wields considerable influence over five assembly constituencies in the Pratapgarh region, as well as some in neighbouring Bihar. In election rallies in this region where he is present, the actual candidate may never speak or even be mentioned in his speech; "they are all shadows. Raja Bhaiya, alone, is the substance.".
After the 2007 elections, when Mayawati swept to power with a majority, Raghuraj again came under the police radar.
Controversies and conflict
Jailed under POTA in 2002
In 2002, on an FIR filed by a dissident Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA Puran Singh Bundela of alleged kidnapping and threatening with dire consequences, got Raghuraj arrested on the orders of then Chief Minister Mayawati at the early hours about 4:00 a.m. of 2 November 2002. Later Mayawati-led government in Uttar Pradesh declared him a terrorist, and he was sent to jail under Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA), along with his father Uday Pratap Singh and cousin Akshay Pratap Singh. Subsequently, Akshay managed to get bail, but Raghuraj's pleas were rejected many times.
From jail to cabinet minister
Within 25 minutes of the Mulayam Singh Yadav's government coming to power in 2003, all POTA charges against him were dropped. However, the Supreme Court debarred the state government from dismissing POTA charges
Eventually the POTA act was repealed in 2004, and although the court again refused to release Raghuraj, he subsequently became a powerful man in the government, and was accused by police officer R.S. Pandey (who led the raid on his house) of having launched a vendetta against him. Eventually R.S. Pandey was killed in a road accident, which is currently being investigated by the CBI.
In 2005, he became the minister for Food and Civil Supplies, and despite his pending criminal cases, he came to be assigned the highest level of security (Z-category) provided by the state, though the threats against him were not specified.
DSP Zia Ul Haque murder case
On 3 March 2013, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Zia Ul Haq was killed during clashes between villagers and police in Kunda, Raghuraj Pratap Singh alias Raja Bhaiyya's constituency. Following a complaint by the slain officer's wife, Parveen Azad, Pratapgarh police have registered a case against Raja Bhaiyya for his alleged involvement in the "conspiracy" which resulted in the gang war and subsequent murder of the police officer. In the FIR, Parveen has said her husband was killed by the henchmen of Raja Bhaiyya. She has named Gulshan Yadav, chairman of Kunda Nagar Panchayat, Harion Srivastava, a representative of Raja Bhaiyya and Guddu Singh, Raja Bhaiyya's driver as prime accused. She has also named two other villagers – Kamta Prasad Pal and Rajesh Kumar Pal. The police have registered a murder case against other accused who were named in the FIR. Further this case was handed over to elite investigation agency CBI on dated-07.2.2013 for further investigation. The CBI has registered four different cases in the murder of senior police officer Zia-ul-Haq and two others who were shot dead on Saturday in the constituency of former Uttar Pradesh minister, Raja Bhaiya.
The politician will be investigated for criminal conspiracy. He was forced to resign from office after he was accused in a police case of criminal conspiracy.
On 1 August 2013, the CBI filed the final report in the CBI court giving a clean chit to Raja Bhaiya.
- Ramendra Singh (9 March 2013). "The Raja's Backyard". The Indian Express. Retrieved 11 March 2013.
- The Hundu (17 March 2004). "Even in jail, Raja Bhaiyya is a force to reckon with (Elections 2004)". The Hindu. Retrieved 6 August 2007.
- "Raja Bhaiya submits resignation after his name figures in cop's killing". Mid Day. 4 March 2013. Retrieved 11 March 2013.
- J.P. Shukla (15 April 2004). "Muscle and mafia links still matter in Uttar Pradesh". The Hindu. Retrieved 9312441553 9 August 2007.
- Election Commission of India: Uttar Pradesh state elections, 2007, Results, constituency 98.
- Prem Panicker (20 February 2002). "Election 2002: The secret of Raja Bhaiya's success". rediff.com. Retrieved 6 August 2007.
- The gang of Raja Bhaiyya Times of India – 24 June 2007
- George Iype and Ehtasham Khan (11 March 2004). "Caught in the POTA trap: Uttar Pradesh". rediff.com.
- Ram Dutt Tripathi (14 November 2005). "Politician held on terror charge". BBC News, Lucknow. Retrieved 6 August 2007.
- SC upholds stay on proceedings (28 August 2004). "Raja Bhaiya cases: DSP being `victimised'". The Tribune, Chandigarh. Retrieved 6 August 2007.
- "Night before HC says yes to his plea for CBI probe, UP cop dies". The Indian Express. 17 January 2007. Retrieved 19 June 2011.
- Aman Sharma (22 June 2005). "Now, Z security for Bhaiyya". Indian Express.
- "UP top cop killed in gunbattle following village head's murder". India Today (15-07-14).
- "CBI gives clean chit to Raja Bhaiya in deputy SP murder case". Times of India (Bennett, Coleman & Co.). 2 August 2013. Retrieved 25 September 2013.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Raghuraj Pratap Singh.|
- Raghuraj Pratap Singh on Facebook
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- The secret of Raja Bhaiya's success
- Raha Bhaiya on Outlook