A sting video surfaced on Sunday showing senior Bihar minister Awadhesh Prasad Kushwaha purportedly accepting bribe, forcing the Janata Dal (United) leader to resign a day ahead of the first phase of polling in the state.
“I have sent in my resignation after talking to the chief minister after allegations of accepting Rs 4 lakh cropped up,” Kushwaha said, adding he was the victim of a conspiracy.
“I requested the chief minister that I am a senior minister and I cannot continue in the office in the wake of such serious allegations,” said the outgoing minister for urban development and registration, excise and prohibition in the Nitish Kumar government.
JD(U) national president Sharad Yadav told reporters that Kushwaha’s resignation has been received and forwarded to the governor for acceptance.
“As soon as we came to know about the sting operation, I had a meeting with chief minister Nitish Kumar and state party president Bashishtha Narayan Singh. We later spoke to Awadhesh Kushwaha who tendered his resignation...The party believes that the sting operation is true,” Yadav said.
He said Kushwaha will not be the JD(U) candidate for Pipra assembly constituency in East Champaran district where the party will field another nominee from there.
Kushwaha, who was seen accepting wads of currency notes in the video, purportedly for extending favours to a contractor, called it “a high-level” conspiracy hatched by his rivals.
The episode unfolded just hours before the first phase of polling in 49 constituencies across Bihar on Monday. In the high-stakes election, the Bharatiya Janata Party is up against a regional secular alliance led by CM Kumar.