Eight information commissioners appointed in Uttar Pradesh

Lucknow, Jan 3 (IANS) The Uttar Pradesh government late Thursday appointed eight new information commissioners.

The appointees include four journalists, a lawyer, a social worker, a former student union leader and a close associate of Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav.
The administrative reforms department released the names late Thursday after a go ahead from the Raj Bhavan, which had twice in the last one year rejected the names.
Sources say this time too Governor B.L. Joshi was reluctant to approve the names, which were mostly the same as last year, but gave his consent after the chief minister pitched for the appointees.
The Raj Bhavan, officials told IANS, was keen to ensure that the guidelines to appointment of information commissioners laid down by the Supreme Court were adhered to.
The appointees include journalists Arvind Singh Bisht (father-in-law of SP chief Mulayam Singh’s younger son Prateek), Rajkeshwar Singh, Swadesh Kumar and Vijay Sharma.
Lawyer Parasnath Gupta, social worker Haider Abbas Rizvi, former president of the Aligarh Muslim University students’ union Hafiz Mohammed Usman and the chief minister’s close associate Gajendra Yadav.
Appointment of the information commissioners was long overdue in the state and cases were piling up. The government had advertised the posts twice in the last one year, eliciting more than 600 applications.
Insiders, however, said the selection panel, which included the chief minister and Leader of Opposition Swami Prasad Maurya decided in unanimity on eight names.