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Urban development minister too should resign: Bihar MLA Manju Verma

Former Bihar social welfare minister Manju Verma resigned last week after reports of her husband’s conversation with prime accused in the Muzaffarpur shelter home rape cases, Brajesh Thakur, came out.

india Updated: Aug 17, 2018 23:01 IST
Anil Kumar
Anil Kumar
Hindustan Times, Patna
Manju Verma,Muzaffarpur rape cases,Suresh Sharma
Former Bihar Social Welfare Minister Manju Verma addresses a press after resigning over allegations against her husband, who is accused of his links with the Muzaffarpur shelter rape case, in Patna.(PTI File Photo)

Former social welfare minister Manju Verma’s demand that deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi should ensure resignation of urban development minister Suresh Sharma too in the Muzaffarpur shelter home rape cases has not only precipitated a face-off between the BJP-JD(U) but also cast a shadow on an early cabinet expansion.

Verma, who resigned last week after reports of her husband’s conversation with prime accused Brajesh Thakur came out, used a public platform in her assembly constituency Cheria Bariyarpur to voice her demand. “Deputy CM should ensure the resignation of Sharma whose name had also cropped up.”

Questioning the delay, Verma said, if I had to resign on moral grounds, the same yardstick should apply to the minister. “I am being targeted, under a conspiracy, as I come from a backward community,” she said, adding that “if justice is not meted out, I will stage a dharna at Jantar Mantar in Delhi”.

On August 6, two days before Verma had to put in her papers, deputy CM had rejected the need for “Verma or any other minister” to resign.“An allegation is a different matter in comparison to proven complicity after an investigation. Some people have even levelled allegations against a minister from our party,” Modi had said, referring to Sharma.

Sharma, meanwhile, told a local channel, “If my complicity in the case is established, I am ready to be hanged,” he said.

“My name is being dragged on the basis of allegation levelled by Tejashwi Prasad Yadav, who has stopped speaking after being served with a legal notice.”

The face-off has cast a shadow on cabinet expansion, though there are over half a dozen vacancies. Verma’s resignation has cost the Nitish cabinet its only woman face in the government.

First Published: Aug 17, 2018 23:01 IST