Bihar minister Mewalal Choudhary resigns over corruption allegations 1.5 hours after taking over
Newly-appointed Bihar Education Minister Mewalal Choudhary resigned from his cabinet post on Thursday. He tendered his resignation within 72 hours of taking oath as a cabinet minister following the pressure from the opposition over corruption charges leveled against him.
After assuming charge as education minister on Thursday afternoon, Choudhary met Chief Minister Nitish Kumar at his official residence and tendered his resignation. According to sources, Nitish asked Mewalal Choudhary to resign. His resignation has been accepted by the governor.
Mewalal Choudhary had assumed the office of the education minister at 12:30 pm and he tendered his resignation by 2 pm, making him a minister for only one and a half hours.
Mewalal Choudhary is accused of misusing his position as the vice-chancellor of Bhagalpur's Sabaur Agriculture University in 2017 to influence the recruitment of 161 assistant professors and junior scientists. Mewalal Choudhary is also facing corruption charges over the construction of a building on the Sabaur Agriculture University campus. He was also suspended from the party.
President Nath Kovind, during his tenure as the Governor of Bihar, had initiated a probe against Mewalal Choudhary in 2017. Charges of corruption leveled against Choudhary were later found to be true. Mewalal Chaudhary continues to refute all the allegations against him.
Rashtriya Janata Dal, the main opposition party in Bihar, had targeted the Nitish Kumar-led NDA government for a ‘tainted’ leader’s appointment as a cabinet minister.
RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav on Wednesday accused CM Nitish Kumar of rewarding Mewalal Choudhary for corruption.
“Has Chief Minister Nitish Kumar awarded Mewalal Choudhary for corruption and given him the freedom to loot?” he asked in a tweet.
RJD supremo Lalu Prasad, who is jailed in fodder scam cases, tweeted that while his son Tejashwi was committed to signing 10 lakh jobs in his first cabinet meeting, if he was voted to power, Nitish made his priorities clear by inducting into his cabinet a person who is facing charges of corruption. “Look at the irony, the BJP which was attacking the JD (U) over Mewalal until now, is silent today,” Prasad tweeted in Hindi.