Manjhi's son-in-law resigns after controversy over appointment as CM's PA

Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi was on Wednesday at the centre of a controversy over appointment of his son-in-law Devendra Kumar as his personal assistant, evoking sharp criticism following which Kumar resigned from the post.

Patna: Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi was on Wednesday at the centre of a controversy over appointment of his son-in-law Devendra Kumar as his personal assistant, evoking sharp criticism following which Kumar resigned from the post.

"I have sent my resignation to Chief Minister's personal secretary," Kumar, who was appointed as Personal Assistant (PA) of Manjhi, told PTI tonight.

He said that he has put in his paper as people were raising fingers over his appointment.

Earlier, Manjhi appointed Kumar as his PA and another kin as personal staff, evoking sharp criticism from BJP which accused the Chief Minister of violating rules.

As per a notification of the state Cabinet Secretariat Department issued in June this year, Manjhi appointed Kumar as his Personal Assistant.

Another Manjhi kin Satyendra Kumar has been appointed as a peon.

The appointments of close relatives violate a state Cabinet Secretariat Department order of May 23, 2000 which prohibits ministers to appoint a relative as PA.

It says if such appointments have been made it should be quashed immediately, the notification bearing signature of the then Secretary in the Cabinet Secretariat Girish Shankar says.

When a question was put to the Chief Minister, he tried to play it down.

"Such allegations are levelled from time to time. This is no issue)," Manjhi told reporters after emerging from state cabinet meeting.

When mediapersons told him that appointments of relatives violates a 2000 order of the government, he said "I will see it".

Devendra Kumar said, "as the CM's son-in-law, I have got many privileges. We are enjoying the facilities as well".

He has served as Jeetan Ram Manjhi's PA since the latter became Bihar's Social Welfare Minister in 2006.

"Why are objections being raised now just because my father-in law is chief minister?" he asked.

Former chief minister Nitish Kumar said he was not aware of these appointments.

Attacking the Chief Minister, BJP leader Sushil Modi said the government circular clearly states that a person holding public office cannot appoint a relative as a PA or any other member of his staff. "It is Bihar's misfortune that there is such corruption."