Bihar BJP MLA Rashmi Varma on Sunday caused a flutter when she announced her resignation, citing “personal reasons”. Varma, who represents Narkatiaganj constituency, shared a photograph of herself on the social media in which she can be seen carrying the hand-written note addressed to the Speaker.
However, state BJP president Sanjay Jaiswal said the MLA was stopped before she could hand over the letter to Speaker Vijay Kumar Sinha and persuaded to withdraw the same. “It needs to be clarified that she took the decision on impulse, reacting to a family feud with no political angle to the episode, Jaiswal told reporters.
Varma, 53, is married into a rich family of landlords, which owns the Shikarpur Estate in West Champaran district. Incidentally, Jaiswal represents West Champaran in the Lok Sabha. “The MLA is engaged in a property dispute with the brothers of her late husband. She took the step in a fit of rage after someone from the other side made a snide remark about her political standing, said Jaiswal.
“The chapter stands closed. She has agreed to sort out the matter with her relatives while serving in her capacity as an MLA, said the state BJP president, who declined to comment on the episode reflecting badly on party discipline in Bihar. The BJP is the largest constituent of the ruling NDA in the state, which enjoys power with a wafer-thin majority in the 243-strong assembly.
Varma had made her debut in 2014 when she retained Narkatiaganj for the party in a by-election. She lost the seat to the Congress in assembly polls held a year later but wrested it back in 2020. Soon after her re-election, Varma was in news for having received an extortion call.
Last month, her brother, who owns a printing press in Delhi, was arrested in connection with an examination paper leak in Uttar Pradesh. Varma had reacted with indignation when Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra highlighted that the accused was the Bihar MLA’s brother.
Seeking to distance herself from the matter, Varma had stressed that after her marriage she belonged to the family of her husband and urged Vadra, “a big leader”, not to target “small-time political workers like me”. Jaiswal was also asked about speculations that Varma was unhappy over the role played by local police with regard to the property dispute in her family.
“That would be squarely addressed by raising the matter before the Superintendent of Police, Jaiswal added.