| Renu Kumari |
Patna, March 11: Former industries and disaster management minister Renu Kumari Kushwaha resigned from the cabinet on moral grounds for sure but what pricked her the most — the conflict of interest after her husband joined the BJP or the JD(U)’s cold shoulder to him — is a mystery.
A day after Renu resigned, a source said she was upset because the JD(U) was not considering her husband Vijay Kumar Singh for the Khagaria Lok Sabha seat. But Renu claimed that she felt uncomfortable to be in the cabinet of JD(U)-led state government after her husband joined the BJP yesterday.
She told The Telegraph: “My husband has joined the BJP. After this, the post of minister does not suit me. I was not feeling comfortable and so I resigned.”
The former minister claimed that she was not thinking on the lines of quitting the party. “I shall work as an MLA in the party and not quit. The leaders, including the chief minister, had tried to persuade me but I really did not want to remain a minister further. Yes, it is a fact that I am still in the JD(U) and my husband is in the BJP. But in politics anything can happen anytime,” she said.
Her husband Vijay, however, candidly claimed that he joined the BJP because he was not getting his due from the JD(U). “I was with the JD(U) for a long time and worked actively in Khagaria. I was always with Nitish Kumar and former JD(U) president George Fernandes. But the party never really recognised me for my contributions. Hence, I decided to leave the JD(U) and join the BJP because I believe in Narendra Modi.”
Vijay respected her wife’s decision to remain in the JD(U), though. “My wife has not left the JD(U) and I respect her decision.”
On his wife relinquishing the ministerial berth, Vijay said: “It is her decision and she thought that it was morally correct for her. I have never really interfered in her political decisions.”
He was quick to add: “As a couple married since 1981, we have felt that working together is better always. It will be her decision if she wants to join some other party.”
A day after Renu resigned from her ministerial posts, several JD(U) leaders visited her official residence on Bailey Road to persuade her to return to the cabinet. But she remained firm on her decision.
MLC and senior JD(U) leader Mahachander Prasad Singh said: “We tried to persuade her but she has refused to take up her ministerial post gain. She is upset over her husband not being given the due importance in the party. Quite a few people in the party are upset with the way the Lok Sabha poll tickets are being distributed. The parliamentary board of the party is not being consulted and the tickets are being distributed haphazardly,” Singh told The Telegraph.
Renu was the only female minister in Nitish’s cabinet after Parveen Amanullah left the JD(U) last month and joined the Aam Aadmi Party.
The PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry has termed the resignation of Renu unfortunate. Satyajit Kumar Singh, the chairman of the industry body, said her contribution towards the improvement in the investment scenario of the state was commendable.