Defiance costs Bihar agriculture minister his job

Singhs resignation was accepted and forwarded to Governor Phagu Chauhan, according to a statement issued by the chief ministers office.His portfolio was allocated to fellow RJD MLA Kumar Sarvajeet, who was till now the minister for tourism.

PTI | Kolkata | Updated: 02-10-2022 22:07 IST | Created: 02-10-2022 22:07 IST
Defiance costs Bihar agriculture minister his job
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Bihar Agriculture Minister Sudhakar Singh, an RJD leader whose induction in the Nitish Kumar ministry less than two months ago was mired in controversy and who often embarrassed the government by his outspokenness, on Sunday resigned from the state cabinet. Singh's resignation was “accepted and forwarded to Governor Phagu Chauhan”, according to a statement issued by the chief minister's office.

His portfolio was allocated to fellow RJD MLA Kumar Sarvajeet, who was till now the minister for tourism. Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav has been given the additional charge of tourism, the statement said.

Singh, a first-term MLA from Ramgarh in Kaimur district, has been in his constituency for the past two days and according RJD sources he made the move after a telephone call from Tejashwi Yadav the previous night.

Yadav is said to have conveyed his displeasure over Singh's behavior which was deemed to be in violation of the principle of “collective responsibility” of the cabinet. Singh sent his resignation after it.

Known to be of volatile temperament, Singh did not turn up in Patna but dispatched his resignation letter through a personal staff who handed it over to his father Jagadanand Singh, the RJD state unit chief.

Jagdanand Singh handed over the resignation letter to Yadav.

Later, the septuagenarian RJD leader issued a statement to the media claiming that his son was fighting for the cause of farmers like Mahatma Gandhi and Lal Bahadur Shastri, whose birth anniversaries fell on the day.

“However, the decision to tender the resignation was taken because we did not want the rift to widen,” said Jagdanand Singh, whose loyalty towards Yadav and RJD supremo Lalu Prasad has earned him a second consecutive term as the state party chief.

The BJP, which has been licking its wounds since Kumar's exit from the NDA in August stripped it of power in the state, claimed that the development indicated that the seven-party ruling 'Mahagathbandhan' has turned ''wobbly''.

“The government has not completed two months and its second wicket has fallen. At this rate, it is anybody's guess how long this coalition is going to last”, said senior BJP leader and former deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi.

The allusion was to Singh's resignation which came about a month after another RJD minister Kartik Kumar put in his papers.

Kartik Kumar had resigned in protest against being divested of the law portfolio. His alleged involvement in a kidnapping case and allocation of the key department despite such a record had triggered a huge controversy in the state.

Incidentally, Singh's induction had also been a matter of controversy as BJP had raised hell over an old case relating to default on payment by a rice mill he owned.

Interestingly, Singh had begun his political career with BJP and had unsuccessfully contested the 2010 assembly polls on the party's ticket.

Soon after becoming the agriculture minister, Singh, who is an alumnus of the prestigious Kirori Mal College, Delhi, set about an image-building exercise, refusing to accept the ministerial bungalow but ended up making headlines for all the wrong reasons.

Last month, he told a gathering in his constituency that his department was infested with “thieves” and as its head he felt like a “choron kaa sardaar” who worked under bigger thieves.

This was said to have led to a showdown between the minister and the chief minister at a meeting of the cabinet.

Recently, Singh was again in news for having told a public meeting that corrupt officials deserved to be “beaten with shoes”.

He had also trashed the policies that have been in place in Bihar for long, questioning the abolition of the Agricultural Produce Market Committee Act and the three “agriculture road maps” which Kumar has brought out during his tenure.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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