30-minute-long closed-door meeting with CM led to Bihar minister Mewalal Choudhary’s resignation
Choudhary resigned three days after his appointment after allegations of corruption were levelled against him.Updated: Nov 19, 2020, 18:19 IST
Barely hours after assuming charge as Bihar education minister on Thursday, Mewalal Choudhary, JD(U) MLA from Tarapur, tendered his resignation from the ministry. Opposition parties, including the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) had been pulling the government and attacking Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar for inducting Choudhary who was earlier expelled from the party in 2017 after an FIR was lodged against him in a corruption case. On the advice of the chief minister, Governor Phagu Chauhan accepted Choudhary’s resignation.
Mewalal Choudhary was accused of irregularities in the appointment of assistant professors and junior scientists at Bihar Agriculture University (BAU) in Bhagalpur when he was its vice-chancellor.
A former IPS officer Amitabh Kumar Das had on Tuesday written a letter to the DGP and sought a probe into the mysterious death of former MLA Neeta Choudhary, wife of Mewalal, on June 2, 2019. The 1994-batch IPS officer said he suspected that Neeta might have known about corruption in Sabour agriculture university.
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Choudhary, who had threatened to file a defamation case against the former IPS officer, took charge of his department after meeting chief minister Nitish Kumar and JD(U) state president Bashistha Narain Singh.
On Thursday, he was called by the CM and after a closed-door meeting for 30 minutes, he submitted his resignation.
“Nitish Kumar is the real culprit. Why did he make a corrupt person the minister? You acted against the mandate and now doing drama by asking him to resign,” said RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav. CPI-ML state secretary Kunal called it a victory of people. “The government has to bow down to pressure of the public,” he said.
According to sources, an FIR was lodged against him on February 20, 2017, with the Sabour police station in Bhagalpur on the directives of the then governor-cum-chancellor of universities in Bihar, Ram Nath Kovind, who set up a probe committee after several applicants alleged irregularities in appointments.
Choudhary was booked under sections 409 (criminal breach of trust), 420 (forgery), 467 (forgery of valuable security), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), 471 (using as genuine of forged document) and 120 (B) (conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Three days after the FIR was lodged against him, Choudhary was expelled from the JD(U), party sources said. On August 22, 2017, the Patna High Court granted Choudhary anticipatory bail.