Bihar legislators have been “gifted” mobile phones, tablets, microwaves among others by state ministries, with a senior minister saying these presents will help them discharge their responsibility fast and with greater efficiency.
However, opposition BJP is not impressed and has questioned the practice when the region was reeling under the effect of natural calamities.
This despite the fact that the gifts have been accepted by all MLAs even from the opposition parties.
According to PTI, 19 ministries of the Nitish Kumar government provided “gifts” to MLAs and MLCs during the recent budget session of the Bihar Legislature that ended on April 22.
The gifts included mobile phones worth about Rs 10,000 a piece given by the Road Construction department, the reports said.
The Rural Development department gifted tablet computers to legislators while departments like Education and Tourism offered good-quality watches.
Similarly, the Industry Department provided jute bags along with sarees and shirts to MLAs and MLCs, much to their glee, the reports said.
Senior BJP leader and former deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi said it was not a good practise and added that he distributes the gifts among workers.
When comments of ministers were sought, many of them said it was part of an old tradition.
“It’s a past tradition. Such things even take place in Parliament also,” Finance Minister Bijendra Yadav told a section of the media.
His colleague in Water Resources Vijay Chaudhary also described it as “normal” practise.
Rural Development and Parliamentary Affairs minister Shrawan Kumar told PTI that tablets were distributed by his department among legislators to help them “discharge their responsibility fast and with greater efficiency”.
RJD MLA Bhai Birendra did not see anything wrong in the practice and said he distributes the gifts among worker