DU student enjoys 2 days as a ‘minister’

He had a red-beacon car and a police escort vehicle. He enjoyed all the privileges bestowed on a state cabinet minister for two days in Basti, Uttar Pradesh, and even presided over a function organised by doctors from All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), which was attended by the district's Chief Medical Officer.

It was only later that authorities realised that Udhbhav Shukla, who claimed to be a member of State Advisory Council (SAC), was just a Delhi University student and Samajwadi Party worker.

Local SP leaders first grew suspicious of their "esteemed dignitary". They asked the district administration to verify Shukla's claim. District Magistrate (DM) S Mathushalini found out that Shukla had taken everybody for a ride.

The red-beacon vehicle and the police escort were promptly withdrawn. The five-day programme of AIIMS doctors was cut short and they were asked to return.

The SP's state office confirmed that Shukla had not been appointed to any post and the district administration had erred in giving him protocol privileges.

Before reaching Basti, Shukla allegedly faxed a letter to the DM, stating that he had been appointed member of SAC and given the rank of a minister. He stated that he would be attending a five-day programme on trauma management organised by AIIMS doctors from October 2 to 6.

Shukla attended the medical training programme and also took a round of the city in the VIP car. SP workers at several places reportedly welcomed him.

However, Mahendra Yadav, president of Lohia Vahini in Basti, got suspicious and called up SP office in Lucknow to check Shukla's appointment to SAC. Later, Yadav met the DM and lodged a complaint.

"After getting the complaint, we contacted Udhbhav Shukla and found that he was a fraudster. We withdrew the red-beacon vehicle and police escort car," DM Mathushalini said. Shukla showed an appointment letter and an identity card, purportedly bearing the signature of Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav.

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