Bihar minister Mewalal resigns over corruption case, leaves Nitish govt red-faced

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Bihar Education Minister Mewalal Choudhary Thursday resigned three days after taking oath amid allegations of corruption.

Bihar Education Minister Mewalal Choudhary Thursday resigned three days after taking oath amid allegations of corruption. He submitted his resignation after meeting Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.

“An accusation is proven only when a chargesheet is filed or a court gives an order and neither of the two is there to prove the allegations against me,” Choudhary was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

Bihar’s main Opposition RJD has been attacking the Chief Minister for appointing Choudhary as the Education Minister.

Targeting CM Nitish over the development, RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav said, “You are the real culprit. Why did you make (him) a minister? Your duplicity and gimmick will no longer be tolerated.”

Earlier, RJD MP and spokesperson Manoj Kumar Jha had told The Indian Express, “The choice of Mewalal Choudhary as education minister makes such a loud statement about the CM’s weakened position in the new scheme of things post-verdict. A clear message has gone to Bihar that one cannot expect anything positive from the government with these kinds of choices dominating the constitution of the cabinet.”.

Jha said Nitish Kumar tried to take a “high moral ground” over a “non-case” of corruption when he walked out of the Grand Alliance in 2017, bringing down the coalition government with RJD and Congress.

The case pertains to Choudhary’s tenure as vice-chancellor of Bihar Agriculture University at Sabaur in Bhagalpur. He and about 50 others had been first booked in 2017 under IPC sections 409, 420, 467, 468, 471 and 120B.

The matter pertained to alleged discrepancies in the appointment of 167 assistant-cum-junior scientists at the newly-opened agriculture university during Choudhary’s tenure as V-C between 2010 and 2015. He declared it in his 2020 election affidavit and was elected MLA from Tarapur in Munger.

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