Bihar Transport Minister resigns following vigilance inquiry

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Patna, May 17 (UNI) Bihar Transport Minister Ramanand Prasad Singh resigned from the Nitish Kumar government today after his name surfaced in a vigilance bureau inquiry.

Mr Singh, who became the Minister on April 17 during the state Cabinet reshuffle, submitted his resignation letter to the Chief Minister.

Mr Kumar, sent the letter to Governor R S Gavai who accepted it.

The resignation came after Mr Singh's name resurfaced in connection with a case in 1990 when he was chargesheeted by the state Vigilance Bureau.

He was posted as the Fuel Technologist at the Kanti Thermal Power Station in Muzaffarpur at that time.

He was accused of purchasing poor quality pipes for the Thermal power station following which the Vigilance department conducted a raid on Mr Singh's official residence and recovered unaccounted jewellery and documents showing huge investment.

Following the recovery, the Vigilance department filed a case against Mr Singh on May 24, 1990 and chargesheeted him on December 11, 1991.

Mr Singh had described the charges against him as ''baseless and politically motivated'' and filed an appeal in Patna High Court.

The court, however, disallowed his appeal on April 24 last.

As a result the minister had to resign from the Cabinet which was accepted by the Chief Minister at around 1330 hrs.

Claiming innocence, Mr Singh told reporters that he was deliberately framed by the then RJD government and the charges against him were ''baseless and politically motivated''.

'' I am confident to get justice from the court in the case, '' he stated.

Meanwhile, reacting to the resignation of Mr Singh, Bihar Pradesh Congress Committee(BPCC) spokesman Prem Chandra Mishra said the Chief Minister had no alternative but to seek the Minister's resignation following mounting political pressure.

'' It is an indication that Mr Kumar was unaware of the past records of the leaders before inducting them into his Cabinet, '' he remarked.

UNI KKS-ABA SJC SB US1943

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