PATNA: Proceedings of both the Houses of the Bihar legislature were disrupted on Monday by the Opposition BJP and its allies who accused Chief Minister Nitish Kumar of protecting an MLA of the ruling JD (U) party accused of committing fraud in the appointment of university staffers.
BJP legislators and allies trooped into the wells of both the Houses demanding the immediate arrest of Mewalal Chaudhary, the JD (U) MLA from Tarapur constituency in Munger district. Chaudhary is accused of being involved in “severe irregularities” in the appointment of assistant professors and junior scientists at the Bihar Agricultural University (BAU), at Sabaur in Bhagalpur district.
After an FIR was lodged against Chaudhary, JD (U) had suspended him from the party for six years.
An arrest-warrant has been issued against him, but the accused has been evading arrest. Following the rejection of his anticipatory bail petition by the district court in Bhagalpur last week, the police are likely to issue a red-corner notice against Chaudhary.
During Question Hour, BJP legislators raised the issue of Chaudhary not being arrested yet and shouted anti-Nitish slogans even as they accused his government of protecting Chaudhary and other ruling party MLAs accused of violation of laws.
“Nitish Kumar merely keeps on saying that there is zero-tolerance of corrupt people in Bihar. The present case of this JD (U) MLA not being arrested yet is the latest evidence that Kumar and his government are protecting the corrupt,” said BJP’s Prem Kumar, who is leader of the Opposition in the Assembly.
JD (U) spokesperson and MLC, Neeraj Kumar rubbished BJP’s claims saying, “The law is taking its own course. BJP is raising the issue merely to draw attention. If they (BJP) are so keen on this issue, they can ask central police agencies to help in his (Chaudhary) arrest”.
Senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi said his party would keep raising the issue till the accused is arrested.
Chaudhary, who retired as the vice-chancellor of BAU in 2015 and then contested and won the Assembly polls on a JD (U) ticket, allegedly facilitated the appointment of 161 assistant professors and junior scientists by taking hefty bribes and ignoring more qualified and suitable candidates in 2012.
Even candidates possessing PhD degrees and those who had cleared NET were sidelined, it is alleged. Before Chaudhary won as an MLA, Tarapur constituency was represented by his wife Neeta Chaudhary of JD (U).