Pressure on Nitish govt to do away with gifts

Pressure on Nitish govt to do away with gifts

Pressure on Nitish govt to do away with gifts
Amid hue and cry raised by BJP leaders over the expensive gifts being distributed among the Bihar legislators, the Nitish regime is mulling over the proposal to do away with this age-old practice of presenting gifts to its MLAs and MLCs during the Budget session.

The BJP had vociferously disapproved of this exercise of doling out freebies to leaders at a time when nearly four lakh teachers in the State have not been paid their salaries since December 2015.

On Monday, senior BJP leader and former deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi returned the gift, including the microwave oven, which his private secretary had accepted last week on his behalf.

“I, along with MLC and Bihar BJP president Mangal Pandey, have returned the gift. This is our token way of protest against non-payment of salary to teachers. Besides, we feel that showering MLAs, MLCs with gifts every year is a sheer waste of public money. I have written a letter to the chief minister to do away with this decades-old-practice, and also convene a meeting of Business Advisory Committee of both the Houses which would discuss imposing a ban on doling out expensive gifts to legislators,” said Modi.

The BJP leader, however, came under sharp attack from Deputy Chief Minister Tejaswi Yadav and his mother Rabri Devi. “He should not have accepted the gift at all, if he had to return it this week. For all these years (whether in the Opposition or ruling party), the BJP leaders had been accepting these gifts but when media made it an issue, he is trying to score brownie points,” said Tejaswi.

“Sushil Modi should return all the gifts he has received up till now. Why only today? In fact, he should bring all the previous gifts and distribute it among the common people, if he feels so pained about the public money being wasted,” Rabri said in an unusual attacking mode.
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