"I was not aware of the rules not to appoint close relatives as staff in the CM office. It was the duty of state Cabinet Secretariat to see (about law prohibiting such appointments)," Manjhi told reporters here.

"The Cabinet department which issued the notification of the appointments did not tell me about the existing rules," he said on appointment of his son-in-law Devendra Kumar as his PA.

"As soon as the matter came to my knowledge, I removed m
son-in-law," Manjhi said.

Manjhi's son-in-law Devendra Kumar put in his papers late last night after the appointment kicked controversy.

About the appointment of his relative Satyendra Kumar, who has been appointed as peon through the same June 4, 2014 notification, Manjhi said he was his nephew and the matter did not come in the definition of close relatives in the existing law.

"Close relative means son, daughter and their spouse and not nephew. If you say he hails from the same caste as I am, then my every caste men will somewhere or other come as my relatives," he said.

Responding to his critics on the appointments, Manjhi said "Hame Gaali dene wale apni patni ko jaali certificate ke aadhar par college professor banaye hua hai (those abusing me has helped his wife become a college professor on the basis of a fake certificate)."

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