Former Bihar minister joins AAP, says Nitish is authoritarian

Former Bihar minister joins AAP, says Nitish is authoritarian

Former Bihar social welfare minister and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s Muslim face in the Janata Dal-United (JD-U) Parveen Amanullah on Thursday joined the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). 

Kumar failed to convince his estranged cabinet colleague who quit the ministry as well as the party to reconsider her decision.

Reacting to her decision, a senior JD-U leader claimed that after being denied a Rajya Sabha seat, she decided to leave the party.

“There is no need to read much into it. She had asked for a Rajya Sabha ticket but was denied. This prompted her to take this decision,” he told Deccan Herald.

Parveen, who had earlier worked closely with Arvind Kejriwal as a Right to Information (RTI) activist, is believed to be mulling over contesting the 2014 Lok Sabha elections as an AAP nominee from Bihar’s Kishanganj constituency.

Kishanganj had once been represented by her father Syed Shahabuddin, a diplomat-turned-politician. 

“There is rampant corruption in Bihar. Besides, there is no transparency. It was therefore difficult for me to continue as a minister,” she reiterated while explaining why she quit the Nitish Kumar government.

“Corruption in lower bureaucracy is so rampant that nothing can be done. Schools, hospitals, everywhere it can be seen,” she added.  Though she avoided directly accusing Kumar of being authoritarian, Parveen said that like other chief ministers, he did not decentralise power.

Parveen’s statement is all the more baffling as her husband Afzal Amanullah, a senior IAS officer, was home commissioner as well as cabinet secretary in Bihar till a couple of years ago, before he eventually shifted to Delhi on central deputation. He is at present posted in the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs .   

Though AAP leaders on Thursday praised Parveen’s “honesty”, in Bihar she has been charged with demanding a bribe of Rs 10 lakh from a Child Development Project Officer Kavita.

She hit the headlines for the wrong reasons when her daughter Rahmat Fatima was allotted huge tracts of land by the Bihar Industrial Area Development Authority in Bihiya near Patna.

Parveen had been in the news even earlier when she, as an RTI activist, staged a dharna protesting fake encounters. 

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