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Portfolio change for Bihar minister facing kidnapping charges, BJP calls it ‘eyewash’

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HIGHLIGHTS

  • RJD leader Kartik Kumar, who held the law ministry, has been shifted to another dept
  • This comes as the tainted minister faced allegations in a kidnapping case.
  • The BJP had demanded his removal from the cabinet

Bihar Law Minister Kartik Kumar, who is allegedly facing kidnapping charges, has been removed from his position and allocated the Sugarcane Industries ministry on Wednesday. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar shifted Kartik Kumar to the Sugarcane Industries Ministry amid the ongoing row over his alleged involvement in a criminal case.

Shamim Ahmad, also an RJD leader, replaced Kumar as the law minister, a notification issued by the state Cabinet Secretariat Department said. Ahmad held the sugarcane portfolio before his elevation. Nitish Kumar government was under attack over the induction of RJD MLC Kartik Kumar as law minister.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) hit out at Nitish Kumar for only changing the department of controversial minister Kartik Singh from law to sugarcane ministry. BJP spokesperson Arvind Kumar Singh said that Nitish could not muster courage to remove him from his cabinet and the entire exercise was nothing but an eyewash.

The BJP had demanded his removal from the cabinet, alleging that an arrest warrant is pending against him in a 2014 kidnapping case. The Congress had also urged Nitish Kumar and his deputy Tejashwi Yadav to take necessary steps over the controversy that erupted over the appointment of RJD leader Kartik Kumar as the law minister in the Mahagathbandhan.

Kartik Kumar, who was elected to the Legislative Council in April, is considered close to don-turned-politician Anant Singh. He was elected as MLC from Patna on an RJD ticket. After he took over as law minister, a court issued an arrest warrant against him for his alleged involvement in a kidnapping case.

The Congress and CPI-ML (Liberation), constituents of the ruling Grand Alliance, had also asked the Nitish Kumar government to reconsider the decision of inducting Kartik Kumar into the cabinet.

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