Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar - under opposition attack over the alleged involvement of a minister of his own party in the Muzaffarnagar rapes -- today said action would be taken against anyone caught in wrongdoing. Manju Verma, the state's social welfare minister, was caught in controversy after the wife of the one of the accused in the case alleged her husband is linked to the case. The minister has denied any complicity of her family.
The Chief Minister's assurance of action comes as the name of a minister from his own party has cropped up in the case. The wife of the one of the accused in the case has alleged that the husband of Manju Verma, the state's social welfare minister, was linked to the case. The minister has denied any complicity of her family.
Mr Kumar today said if anything came up against the minister during the probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation, which has taken over the case, she may be asked to go.
"She (Manju Verma) has denied her involvement in the case. A CBI probe is underway. Anyone found guilty, even the Ministers, will be sent to jail. No one will be spared," Nitish Kumar said.
That remark, though, has been countered by the Chief Minister's deputy Sushil Modi, who underscored that "making an allegation is different from guilt being proven in an investigation".
Mr Modi's line, however, is seen as support for Mr Kumar as the alliance between the two parties appear to have hit a rocky patch following the Governor's tacit censure about the horrific sexual exploitation of minor girls that has shocked the nation. Mr Kumar's party has interpreted it as a fallout of the public displeasure the Chief Minister showed towards a few union ministers of the BJP for what he called attempts "to divide the society".
"No BJP leader is authorised to give a statement that may be deemed the party's official line has made such a demand. State president Nityanand Rai has not made such a demand. So it would be wrong to construe personal opinions of some leaders as being the party's opinion," Sushil Modi was reported as saying by news agency IANS.