Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Sunday sacked Vikassheel Insaan Party chief Mukesh Sahani from the state Cabinet at the instance of the Bharatiya Janata Party, PTI reported.
Sahani is a member of Bihar’s Legislative Council and was the state minister for fisheries and animal husbandry.
The Bihar Information and Public Relations Department confirmed the development on an official WhatsApp group, according to The Indian Express.
“After BJP made the request for Mukesh Sahani’s termination as minister, the CM has recommended it to the Raj Bhavan,” the department said. “BJP said in its letter to CM that ‘since Sahani is no longer part of NDA [BJP-led National Democratic Alliance], he should be removed as minister’.”
On Wednesday, all three MLAs from the Vikassheel Insaan Party joined the BJP. The three MLAs are Raju Kumar Singh, Misri Lal Yadav and Swarna Singh. With this, the BJP is the single-largest outfit in the Bihar Assembly with 77 MLAs.
After this, Sahani said that he will not resign as a minister but will leave it to Kumar to take a decision.
On March 22, the VIP chief had said that his decision to cross over to the NDA from the Grand Alliance led by the Rashtriya Janata Dal was a mistake, according to The Indian Express.
The VIP had contested against the BJP in 53 seats in the recently-concluded Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections. The party, however, did not win any seats.
In the upcoming MLC elections in Bihar as well, Sahani has fielded candidates against the BJP in seven seats, according to India Today.
On Sunday, Bihar BJP chief Sanjay Jaiswal claimed that the VIP chief had harmed the fishing community by interfering with the organisational structure of the Prakhand Matsyajivi Sahyog Samiti, an organisation representing fisherfolk.
Jaiswal alleged that Sahani formed an executive body that is under the control of a bureaucrat in the organisation.
Sahani, on his part, said on March 24 that the BJP had become jealous of his growth, because of which it has decided to put him in check, according to The Indian Express.
He also addressed criticism from the BJP about him contesting elections in Uttar Pradesh and his remarks about Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Adityanath.
“He [Modi] is not BJP’s PM but of the country,” he had said. “I have the right to make demands from him for my community. I also have the right to contest elections. The JD(U) too contested the UP polls but the BJP did not complain against them.”