"Nitish Kumar's decision not to press for Verma's resignation appears to be a calculated strategy keeping vote bank politics in mind. Verma is a Kushwaha and he wants to send the message across that he came to her defence even when all the odds were against her", Tiwary, who is RJD national vice-president, told a news channel here.
However, the allegation was quickly dismissed by Kumar's JD(U) which sought to underscore corruption cases involving top RJD leaders.
"Nitish Kumar needs nobody's certificate. I wonder how people, who have been convicted in corruption cases or have charge sheets issued against them in matters relating to graft, can point fingers at the Chief Minister", JD(U) spokesman Sanjay Singh said, in an obvious reference to RJD supremo Lalu Prasad and his younger son Tejashwi Yadav.
Notably, Verma herself has alleged - both on the floor of the state assembly and elsewhere - that she was being targeted because she belonged to the Kushwaha OBC caste group.
Demabds for her resignation have intensified in the wake of allegation by the wife of an official, arrested in connection with the scandal, that the minister's husband used to frequently visit the shelter home.
Meanwhile, when Kumar was today asked whether it was proper on part of Verma to play the caste card despite being a cabinet minister, the Chief Minister remarked "I personally never do that.....but you all are aware of Bihar's social reality. Caste happens to be the prism through which everything is viewed here".
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)