Protesting over the delay in paying salaries to over 2.5 lakh school teachers for seven months, five BJP leaders — three MLAs and two MLCs — Monday returned gifts received from the state’s education department last week during the ongoing Budget session. The list included former deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi, state BJP president Mangal Pandey and Leader of Opposition in Assembly, Dr Prem Kumar. “We have also appealed to other party MLAs to voluntarily return their gifts,” said Prem Kumar.
Bihar Education Minister Ashok Kumar Choudhary, however, lashed out at BJP’s “gift politics”. “It would be better if BJP leaders mount pressure on Centre to give our allocated funds than playing politics of gifts,” he said.
BJP derided the government for its “insensitivity” towards teachers, who, it said, were being “forced to observe colourless Holi”. BJP legislature party leader Modi said: “It does not look nice to accept costly government gifts when teachers are forced to play colourless Holi this time”.
Senior RJD leaders, Deputy CM Tejashwi Yadav and former CM Rabri Devi, attacked the BJP leaders for the “belated move”. “They took gifts during our regime and during the NDA rule. If they are so concerned, they should return all gifts taken so far,” said Rabri Devi.