BJP Demands Sacking of Minority Welfare Minister

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Patna: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders in Bihar Assembly on Tuesday demanded sacking of Minority Welfare Minister Abdul Ghafoor for holding a meeting with convicted criminal and former Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) MP Mohammed Shahabuddin who continues to run his crime empire from within the cell of the Siwan Jail.

In the aftermath of the sudden transfer of the Siwan Jail jailor and the Superintendent along with the suspension of a few other prison employees, the BJP leaders carrying anti-Grand Alliance placards, accused the government of intimidating prison officials while continuing to protect Ghafoor who, they said, was chummy with Shahabuddin and other criminals.

Demanding an end to the 'criminal raj' led by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his ally and RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav , the opposition leaders earlier created ruckus in the Assembly and trooped into the well for the resignation of the Minority Welfare Minister. When the Speaker refused to talk about Ghafoor, BJP leaders then took their protest outside the building and chanted anti-government slogans.

"The Nitish government is clearly trying to protect Abdul Ghafoor. He should be removed from his post but instead, the government ordered the transfers of senior jail officials who, by all accounts, went by the book," senior BJP leader Nand Kishore Yadav said.

Meanwhile, both JD-U and RJD leaders including Deputy Chief Minister Tejaswi Yadav, Shyam Rajak, Bhai Virendra defended Ghafoor saying he did not break any law by visiting Shahabuddin in Siwan Jail.

"Most leaders visit jail to meet other party leaders. This is not new. The opposition leaders have no issue to debate so they continue to rake issues that have no importance," Rajak said.

It may, however, be recalled that Shahabuddin is not a party leader anymore and as such, does not hold any post in the RJD or any other party. He is serving life term in connection with several murders, abduction, and other crimes.

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