Bihar Education Min resigns 3 days after taking oath

Bihar Education Minister Mewalal Choudhary resigns amid corruption charges

Mewalal had been thrown out of the JD(U) by Nitish Kumar in 2017 when the corruption allegations against him surfaced

Bihar Education Minister Mewalal Choudhary picture. Credit: Twitter photo

Three days after being sworn in as Bihar’s Education Minister, Mewalal Choudhary resigned on Thursday.

The JD(U) MLA from Tarapur in Munger, who was one of the five ministers from Nitish’s outfit, was in the eye of storm ever since he took oath. He was reportedly facing corruption cases for irregular appointments of assistant professors and junior scientists when he was earlier the Vice Chancellor of an agriculture university.

Besides, the Opposition on Thursday posted a video which showed that “the Education Minister does not even know the national anthem.”

Hugely embarrassed, Nitish summoned Mewalal before asking him to tender his resignation on Thursday.

Mewalal is the same leader whom Nitish had thrown out of the party in 2017 after an FIR was registered against him for illegal appointments of assistant professors and junior scientists when he was the V-C of Bihar Agriculture University in Bhagalpur. Opposition leader Tejashwi Yadav said that Mewalal was booked under Section 409, 420, 467, 468, 471 and 120 (B) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) in 2017.

“How and why such person, who has been facing such serious criminal charges, and is on bail, was made Bihar Education Minister... A video shows that he does not even know the national anthem,” averred the Opposition leader.

Earlier in the day, the RJD posted a tweet in Hindi. “Bihar’s Education Minister, accused in several corruption cases, does not even know the national anthem. Nitish Kumar Ji, is there any shame left? Or, your conscience has sunk?”

Congress leader Prem Chandra Mishra too joined the chorus gunning for Mewalal’s removal.

“There were no serious charges against me. I was not even charge-sheeted. I will send legal notices to all those who have defamed me,” said Mewalal, who, incidentally, formally took charge as the minister on Thursday itself.

However, Nitish deemed it fit to get rid of such tainted person as the Chief Minister has already been drawing flak for his other Cabinet colleagues too. Nitish has been criticised for appointing an Intermediate-educated Tarkishore Prasad as Finance Minister and Renu Devi, a Class XII passout, as Industry Minister. Incidentally, both are Bihar’s Deputy Chief Ministers from the BJP quota, and Nitish presumably has no say in choosing his ministerial colleagues this time.