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Nitish cabinet minister quits after sting video shows him taking bribe

Patna

In a big embarrassment for the Nitish Kumar government a day before the first phase of Bihar polls, a sting video surfaced today showing senior minister Awadhesh Prasad Kushwaha purportedly accepting bribe after which he resigned.

“I have sent in my resignation after talking to the Chief Minister after allegations of accepting Rs 4 lakh cropped up,” Kushwaha told PTI.

“I requested the Chief Minister that I am a senior minister and I can not continue in the office in the wake of such serious allegations,” the minister for Urban Development and Registration, Excise and Prohibition said.

JD(U) national president Sharad Yadav told reporters that Kushwaha’s resignation has been received and forwarded to the Governor for acceptance.

“As soon as we came to know about the sting operation, I had a meeting with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and state party president Bashishtha Narayan Singh. We later spoke to Awadhesh Kushwaha who tendered his resignation,” Yadav said.

He said Kushwaha will not be the JD(U) candidate for Pipra assembly constituency in East Champaran district where the party will field another nominee.

Kushwaha, who was seen accepting wads of currency notes in the video, purportedly for extending favours to a contractor, called it “a high-level” conspiracy hatched by his rivals.

Kushwaha said he would come clear as he has done a lot of work in the past five years and his opponents will not be successful in their attempt to tarnish his image.

The video went viral on social networking sites where Kushwaha was shown accepting money from a Mumbai-based businessman in return for favours.

Kushwaha is heard telling the businessman that crores of rupees are needed to be spent during elections following which the latter hands over wads of currency notes to him. The JD(U) leader also assures the businessman that he would get his work done once his alliance returns to power.

PTI