The Uttar Pradesh government has sacked two senior law officials, including additional advocate general Gaurav Bhatia, officials said on Thursday.
Two of the state government’s empanelled officials in the Supreme Court — Bhatia and Reena Singh have been removed from their posts, according to an order issued by the special secretary (Law) Amar Jeet Tripathi.
While official sources said that the move was necessitated after the two failed "on numerous occasions" to "properly defend" the state government, insiders hint that there may be more to it than meets the eye.
Bhatia is the son of late Virendra Bhatia, former advocate general of Uttar Pradesh and Samajwadi Party Rajya Sabha member.
Bhatia was the official face of the ruling Samajwadi Party (SP) on most English news television channels but has apparently fallen out of favour with Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav. He is likely to continue as the president of the party’s legal cell.
Gaurav Bhatia, however, posted on his Facebook account that he was resigning from the post and thanked everyone for their support.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state spokesman Vijay Bahadur Pathak called the development "intriguing" and said that other than the confusion over resignation or sacking, the issue also highlighted the wanton disregard the Samajwadi Party has for people, who try to give their best.
"There were so many indefensible occasions for these law officials so why expect them to win such cases," he asked.