Bihar's 'absconding' minister resigns

An Aurangabad court had declared the BJP leader an absconder in a case pertaining to a communal speech in December 1992, days after the Babri Masjid demolition.

The minister was found sitting with Nitish at the janata durbar on Monday. When it was pointed out to the chief minister that an absconder was sitting with him, Nitish pleaded ignorance and said, “I can’t comment unless I check the facts myself.”

Ramadhar resigned on Wednesday night. His resignation was accepted on Thursday after Nitish returned from Delhi.

According to sources, a case was filed against the BJP legislator in December 1992, under Section 188 and 153 (A) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for making communal speeches. He was arrested and sent to jail in January, 1993. After he was released on bail, the Aurangabad court found him guilty and issued summons against him. When he failed to turn up despite repeated summons, a non-bailable arrest warrant was issued against him on May 3, 1995. In December, 1995, the court declared Ramadhar an absconder.

“It’s surprising how an absconder was elected as the BJP MLA, and also inducted in Nitish’s Cabinet,” said Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly, Abdul Bari Siddiqui, in his memorandum to the governor demanding dismissal of Ramadhar as a minister. “I accept that I had been to jail once. There are 14 cases against me. But I have got bail in all of them. To the best of my knowledge, I am not an absconder, but since this has been brought to my notice, I am quitting as a minister. I will surrender,” Ramadhar said.

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