Party suspends tainted Nepalese minister

Kathmandu: Madhesi leader Jaya Prakash Prasad Gupta, who became Nepal`s first serving minister to be jailed for corruption, was today suspended from his party.

The Madhesi Peoples Forum-Republican (MPRF-R) suspended the 52-year-old Minister for Information and Communications and the chairman of the party during an emergency meeting of the party held here. "Gupta has been suspended after proven guilty," MPRF-R said in a statement after the meeting.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday sentenced Gupta to one-and-a-half years prison for amassing property worth Rs 20.8 million through illegal means. He was also slapped with a fine of Rs 8.4 million.

According to the party, a central committee meeting has been called for tomorrow to discuss the court decision on Gupta and party`s future strategy. Following his conviction, Gupta`s ministerial berth and membership of Parliament have automatically been terminated.

Gupta had held a number of ministerial posts and was appointed to the information ministry after his party struck a deal with the Maoists to form a coalition government in August last year.

The MPRF-R was formed by Gupta a couple of years ago after splitting with the MPRF Nepal. Prior to this case, another party leader BP Yadav was also suspended after being convicted of misusing passport last year. Gupta had abandoned Nepal Congress(NC) party before joining the Madhesi party.