In a blow to the ruling Janata Dal (United) government, Renu Kushwaha, Bihar’s Industries and Disaster Management Minister, resigned from the post after her husband joined the Bharatiya Janata Party. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar accepted her resignation on Tuesday and inducted MLA Lacy Singh into the State Cabinet in a hurried move.
Ms. Kushwaha tendered her resignation on Monday, hours after her husband Vijay Kumar Singh joined the BJP in the presence of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi. Despite Mr. Kumar’s intervention, she could not be persuaded to withdraw it, State JD (U) president Bashishtha Narayan Singh said.
“She made it a matter of principle. She should not have resigned. But she is still in the party,” Mr. Singh told The Hindu. Ms. Kushwaha, MLA from Bihariganj in Madhepura district, could not be reached for comment.
“With Ms. Kushwaha’s exit, the Cabinet was without a woman Minister. Secondly, the region comprising Purnea, Katihar and Araria districts were under-represented. That’s why Ms. Singh was chosen to be inducted,” Food and Civil Supplies Minister Shyam Rajak told The Hindu.
Governor D.Y. Patil administered the oath of office and secrecy to Ms. Singh, MLA from Dhamdaha in Purnea, on Tuesday.
Reacting to Ms. Kushwaha’s resignation, Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad said, “Mr. Kumar’s house is on fire.”