New Delhi: Bihar social welfare minister Manju Verma tendered her resignation on Wednesday in the wake of the nationwide uproar over the Muzaffarpur shelter sex abuse scandal that erupted under her watch.
Her resignation came after the main accused in the case, Brajesh Thakur, accepted talking to her husband on the phone, making her position untenable.
It is learnt that Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar called Manju Verma on Wednesday afternoon and told her to tender resignation to save the image of his government.
Verma was not convinced but Nitish clearly told him to step down, sources told News18. After tendering her resignation, an anguyished Verma went back to her residence, refused to talk to media, switched off her mobile phone and told the guards to not let in anyone inside.
Nitish Kumar had on Monday backed the minister and said that Verma will be shown the door only if anything against her is found during the investigation.
Pressure on Verma, a JD(U) MLA from Cheria-Bariarpur, mounted after the name of her husband, Chandeshwar Verma, emerged in connection with the horrific case related to the rape of 34 minor girls at the shelter home in Muzaffarpur.
Shiva Kumari, wife of the arrested Muzaffarpur district child protection officer Ravi Kumar Raushan, had alleged that Chandeshwar Verma, a former MLC, had often entered into the rooms of the minor girls at the shelter home without anyone accompanying him.
Call records of the minister’s husband traced by CBI also showed that he had spoken to the key accused in the case Brajesh Thakur 17 times.
Ever since Chandeshwar Verma’s name surfaced in the case, opposition parties had been demanding Manju Verma’s removal from the state cabinet and the arrest of her husband.
The minister had, however, defended her husband earlier and assigned political motives to the allegation. “Some people are busy levelling baseless charges against me and my husband with ulterior, political motives. My husband has absolutely no role in what has happened… If he is found guilty, I will have no qualms in hanging him at a public square,” the minister had said at a programme recently.