PATNA: Bihar Assembly Speaker Vijay Kumar Chaudhary was drawn into the state’s multi-crore Bihar Staff Selection Commission (BSSC) question paper leak scam with Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) linking him to it while Chief Minister Nitish Kumar rubbished the charge. Chaudhary’s personal secretary, an MLA of the ruling JD(U), who is considered close to Kumar, allegedly sent a number of text messages seeking favours for some candidates to BSSC chairman Sudhir Kumar, which were made public by senior BJP leader and former deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi to journalists and demanded an investigation.
Although Sushil Kumar Modi did not name the Assembly Speaker, he referred to him as “a senior JD(U) leader” and a “former minister”. The two text messages were sent by Navin Kumar, Vijay Kumar Chaudhary’s personal secretary on January 9 and 20.
BSSC chairman Sudhir Kumar, a 1987-batch IAS officer, was arrested last Friday along with four of his relatives for allegedly facilitating the leak of question papers for the statewide BSSC examinations on February 5 to recruit clerical employees. Days before his arrest, Sudhir Kumar had told journalists that he had been receiving recommendations from several senior politicians for favours in selecting their candidates. BSSC secretary Parameshwar Ram was arrested on February 8.
Sudhir Kumar has, surprisingly, not revealed any political names during interrogations by the special task force (SIT) headed by Patna SSP Manu Maharaaj..
After Modi released copies of the text messages of the Speaker’s private secretary and demanded a probe, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar defended the way the ongoing probe by the SIT is being conducted and rejected the Opposition’s demand for a CBI probe.
“They (Opposition leaders) are trying to create confusion in people’s minds and gain mileage from it. The so-called text messages have nothing to do with how the question papers were leaked,” said the Bihar chief minister in the Assembly on Tuesday.