Patna: Social welfare minister Manju Verma on Thursday vowed to ensure the death penalty for her husband if it is proved that he was involved in the Muzaffarpur shelter home horror.
Shibha Kumari Singh, wife of arrested district child protection officer Ravi Kumar Raushan, had claimed on Thursday that the minister’s husband, Chandeshwar Verma, used to frequent the short stay home where at least 29 minor girls were raped, tortured, and made to undergo abortion.
” Agar pati doshi hue to main khud unhe phansi ki saja doongi (If my husband is found guilty I will punish him with death by hanging),” Manju said in the Legislative Council during the pre-lunch session.
As soon as the House commenced after a roughly 20-minute adjournment, Manju requested Council deputy chairman Haroon Rashid to give her two minutes to speak.
In her speech she accused the Opposition members, who were demanding her removal from the state cabinet, of targeting her because she was the only woman minister in the Nitish Kumar government. Manju also claimed – while looking towards leader of Opposition Rabri Devi, who was standing at her seat – that she was being targeted because she belongs to the Kushwaha caste.
The Kushwahas are considered the second biggest bloc after the Yadavs among the other backward classes in Bihar. While Kushwahas are believed to constitute between 6 and 9 per cent of the state population, the Yadavs are estimated to have a numerical strength of between 12 and 15 per cent of the state population. According to the 2011 census, Bihar has a population of about 10.40 crore.
“Kushwaha samaj sab dekh raha hai (the Kushwahas are watching),” Manju said while countering the Opposition’s attack on her.
She maintained that her husband’s name was propped up in the case after Tejashwi Yadav visited Muzaffarpur.
At one point during her offensive, the minister pointed towards Rabri and said the RJD leader used to live in a peon’s quarter. “From where did you get so much of wealth?” she asked the former chief minister.
Suraj Nandan Kushwaha of the BJP joined Verma in the counter-attack, pointing out that an RJD MLA (Raj Ballabh Yadav) was behind bars in a rape case and Rabri was mum on it.
An unmoved Rabri said no one should forget that the Muzaffarpur episode happened in a government-funded facility. “Minor girls have been raped,” she said.
During the exchange of volleys, RJD MLCs remained in the Well, raising anti-government slogans.
Parliamentary affairs minister Shravan Kumar accused the Opposition of wasting Question Hour.
Courtesy: The Telegraph