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'Everyone can't be a cabinet minister...': Nitish Kumar after MLA threatens to resign

JD(U) legislator Bima Bharti threatened to resign over the party's decision to reinstate her friend Leshi Singh in the cabinet. Meanwhile, Nitish Kumar said, "Everyone cannot be given a post in the cabinet. We have already given her (Leshi Singh) a post in 2013, 2014 and 2019. I’m shocked that she (Bima Bharti) has given such a statement."

Everyone cant be a cabinet minister says Nitish Kumar after MLA threatens to resign gcw
First Published Aug 18, 2022, 5:52 PM IST

Nitish Kumar, the chief minister of Bihar, reacted strongly when Bima Bharti, a prominent lawmaker from his party JDU, expressed her displeasure at not being appointed as a minister while Leshi Singh, a fellow party member, is back in the cabinet.

Announcing that Bima Bharti had also served as minister twice, Kumar added, "I cannot appoint everyone a minister every time. This sort of conduct is unacceptable. The party will have a calm conversation with Bharti. Okay if she comprehends. Or other, if she has considered travelling somewhere, she might think about it."

If Singh continues to serve as a minister, Bima Bharti has vowed to resign. "Only Leshi Singh's constant selection has me angry. What does the CM perceive about her? She frequently takes part in situations in her region and tarnishes the celebration. Why don't you hear me? Is it because I belong to a lower caste?" she said.

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"I will step down from the party if Leshi Singh is not expelled. I will resign as an MLA if my accusation against her is true," Bharti continued.

However, Nitish Kumar was not having it. "Leshi Singh served as a minister in 2013, 2014, and 2019. There was no such accusation made against her at the time. All of this is useless," he added.

Leshi Singh, who oversees the Ministries of Food and Consumer Protection, has not responded. According to the chief minister, "She was also twice named a minister by us. We continued to work with her even though she could not even read properly. She is speaking in a way that surprises me. She has earned a lot of our regard."

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Since Nitish Kumar severed ties with the BJP and rekindled his coalition with Lalu Yadav's RJD and the Congress to establish a new government earlier this month, there have been two similar controversies. Tuesday saw the swearing-in of 31 new ministers, in addition to the chief minister and Tejashwi Yadav, his deputy. Since the state is only allowed to have 36 ministers, three vacancies remain.

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