Microwave Oven, Cell Phones, Suitcases for Bihar Legislators

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Patna: Christmas came nine months earlier for Bihar legislators who are being showered with gifts by the state government that, besides not paying the teachers their salary for months, continually blames the central government for conspiring against Bihar when it comes to funding various development projects.

Bihar MLAs carrying their gifts on Friday.Bihar MLAs carrying their gifts on Friday.With each government department giving a gift to the legislators, a brainchild of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to keep the morale high of the MLAs, MLCs, and ministers, on Friday it was the turn of the Education Department that handed out expensive microwave ovens, cell phones, and name brand luggage to the legislators who, according to the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader and Deputy Chief Minister Tejaswi Yadav, are a poor lot with barely any money to support the family.

"There is no need to politicize this as it is an old custom when departments whose budgets have been approved by the cabinet hand out gifts to the legislators and ministers," Yadav said.

Education Minister and Congress leader Ashok Kumar Chowdhary also justified the gifts saying it cost his department 'no more than Rs. 25-30 lakh' that is miniscule in the grand scheme of things.

"Microwave has many usages. Our MLAs need to travel to their constituencies to inspect mid-day meals being served at schools. So when they go, they can utilize the new suitcases and carry their microwave oven with them to test the food," the Education Minister surmised.

This comes a day after the Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) gifted expensive laptops worth several lakh rupees to ward councilors so they could 'monitor and keep up with the pace of development' in the state capital.

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