Bihar: Nitish Kumar's Cabinet Colleagues Hardly Care for Governance, Alleges Opposition
Patna: Contrary to the self claimed “sushasan” in Bihar by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, his two cabinet colleagues have exposed the reality by assigning their own family members to act as officials of the government in violation of rules.
In a shocking series of incidents in early March, a state minister deputed his younger brother as his representative to a government function in his place, while another Minister’s son joined an official team to review a government scheme on the ground. Both the relatives of the ministers were neither government officials nor any local elected representative.
The actions of the two ministers has strengthened the Opposition’s outcry that Nitish Kumar is the weakest CM currently and is just a helpless head, as he has lost grip and credibility.
The latest incident involves Bihar Public Health Engineering Department (PHED) Minister Ramprit Paswan’s son Deepak Kalyan alias Chotu, who is accused of joining an official team of the Department to review the much hyped Jal-Nal Yojna.
According to reports, Paswan’s son joined an official team of the department in Rupauli in Purnea district on Monday, March 15. A picture of the minister’s son as a part of the official team of the department went viral on social media and was also reported by a local Hindi daily, leading to trouble for the minister. Later, Paswan was forced to make a clarification saying that the allegations are baseless.
But the Bharatiya Janata Party MLA failed to clarify why his son was present at the event when the official team of the department was on a visit to review implementation of an ambitious scheme.
Taking note of the incident, Bihar opposition leader Tejashwi Yadav on Tuesday directly attacked Nitish Kumar, by terming him as the weakest chief minister of Bihar till date.
Tejashwi Yadav in a tweet charged the CM of reducing Bihar to a joke.
बिहार के अब तक के सबसे कमजोर मुख्यमंत्री के नेतृत्व में सबसे कमजोर लुंज-पुंज सरकार चल रही है।
कभी एक मंत्री का भाई सरकारी योजनाओं का उद्घाटन करने पहुँचता है कभी दूसरे मंत्री का बेटा वसूली के लिए योजनाओं की जांच करने पहुंच रहा है।
नीतीश जी ने बिहार का मज़ाक बना कर रख दिया है।
The move also invited criticism from several other quarters, with opposition Mahagathbandhan members including Left parties, creating ruckus over Paswan’s son issue in the state Assembly on Tuesday. Rashtriya Janata Dal MLA Lalit Yadav raised the issue during the zero hours and demanded a reply from the government.
Just a few days earlier, the Opposition had raised concerns over Bihar Fisheries Minister Mukesh Shahni’s decision to send his brother to attend a government function in Vaishali district in place of him, that too, in a government vehicle.
Embarrassed by the Opposition’s attack on the incident that questioned the propriety of Mukesh Shahni sending his brother to disburse benefits of a government scheme in his place, Nitish Kumar expressed dismay over it in the state Assembly and stated that it should not have happened.
Shahni is chief of Vikasheel Insaan Party, that joined the NDA ahead of Bihar Assembly polls last year.
Earlier, Nitish Kumar’s helplessness to govern and take action against liquor smuggling by a close relative of a Bihar minister Ram Surat Rai, again from BJP, also came to light. The Opposition had raised the issue in the Assembly and also staged protest march to Raj Bhawan demanding action against the Minister for his alleged involvement in smuggling of illicit liquor in the dry state.
Ironically, Nitish Kumar has time and again announced not to spare anyone involved in liquor trade and directed police to take action against all those found involved in liquor business. However, no action has been initiated against the minister's relative or the minister, who is mired in controversy.
Commenting on this, Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Arun Kumar Mishra said that from the way Nitish Kumar is running the government, it is clear that he is playing second fiddle to his powerful ally, BJP, which is dictating him and in full control to use him. "Nitish Kumar has forgotten his own agenda of rule of law and good governance for the sake of ‘chair’ as he hardly dares to question BJP and its leaders, including ministers, even when they are in violation of rules,” he added.
Political expert DM Diwakar said that Kumar has no option other than to play second fiddle to BJP. “There is no alternative to him after he dumped the Grand Alliance in 2017 and joined hands with the BJP again. Nitish has further weakened his political position this time,” Diwakar said.
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