‘Sack minister or I quit’: JDU MLA’s public message to Nitish Kumar. He responds
Leshi Singh’s late husband Butan Singh and Bima Bharti’s husband, Awadesh Mandal are said to have been rivals with a reputation for use of muscle power
PURNIA: Janata Dal-United (JDU) legislator Bima Bharti on Thursday threatened to resign from the assembly and the party if chief minister Nitish Kumar doesn’t drop food minister Leshi Singh from his cabinet, saying she was involved in extortion, murder and anti-party activities.
“I am not aggrieved that I was denied a ministerial berth but I am very much shocked that she (Lesi Singh) was made a minister,” said Bharti. She also blamed Leshi Singh for the defeat of her daughter in the district board elections.
Bima Bharti represents Rupauli assembly segment; Leshi Singh is the legislator from the adjoining seat, Dhamdaha.
Bharti alleges Leshi Singh is involved in the murder of ex-zilla parishad member in Purnia, Vishwajeet Singh alias Rintu Singh, 33, who was shot dead in November last year. Leshi Singh has denied the accusation.
Asked about Bima Bharti’s outburst, Nitish Kumar rebuked her for raising questions over the induction of Leshi Singh, who has been a minister for many years, and said the Bima Bharti will be “properly briefed by the party”.
“There is no problem with Leshi Singh... All this is wrong,” Kumar said, underlining that this wasn’t the first time that Leshi Singh was in the cabinet.
Besides, Kumar added that Bima Bharti, who was sore at being left out, had been appointed as a minister in the past. “She does not know how to speak and read… even then, she was twice made a minister,” the chief minister said.
“She will be tackled at the party level. If she sees reason, fine, else she shall be free to chart her own course,” Kumar said curtly. “It seems she has been provoked. Such a thing should not be spoken”.