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Madhya Pradesh: Video of BSP MLA ‘telling officials how much corruption acceptable’ goes viral

BSP MLA Rambai Singh can be purportedly heard saying, “It is alright to indulge in corruption equivalent to the amount of salt added in flour, but you should not snatch the entire plate from someone.”

Written by Iram Siddique | Bhopal |
Updated: September 28, 2021 6:25:37 pm
MLA Ram Bai Singh.

A BSP MLA from Madhya Pradesh has hit headlines after a video of her purportedly telling officials how much corruption is “acceptable” went viral.

Rambai Singh, MLA from Pathariya in Damoh district, was heard comparing corruption to salt in four, saying “Dekho aate mein namak baroobar chalta hai, theek hai. Lekin aiso nahi ki kauno se puri thaali hi cheen le (It is alright to indulge in corruption equivalent to the amount of salt added into wheat flour, but you should not snatch the entire plate from someone).”

Rambai made the controversial statement while listening to complaints of corruption from residents of Damoh’s Satouwa village on Sunday, where she had held a public redress meeting. A bunch of villagers had approached Rambai with complaints against the block’s secretary Narayan Chaubey and employment officer Neeranjan Tiwari, accusing them of asking for bribes for houses to be allocated under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna. She then held a public meeting, where the two officers were also summoned.

In the video, the MLA asked the villagers how much bribe they had to pay. While one said Rs 9,000, the other claimed he paid Rs 5,000, while a third said he had to give Rs 6,000.

After hearing the grievance of the villagers, Rambai turned to the officers and said, “Agar hazaar hi hazaar le lete toh hum sochte theek hai. Kuccho dikkat nahi jaat. Dekho aate mein namak baroobar chalat hai, theek hai. Lekin aiso nahi ki kauno se puri thaali hi cheen le. Hum mana nahi karat, hum bhi jaanat hai.. andher nagri chaupat Raja chal raho.. lekin paristiti dekhne parat. Jaun aadmi mazdoori karat, mazdoori karai bahar jaat ab inki ek kuteer kitne ki hai ye batao.. ‘ek lakh bees hazar’.. ek lakh bees hazar ki tumhare yaha sochale banut (Had you taken Rs 1000 in bribe, then there was no problem. See, its alright to indulge in corruption equivalent to the amount of salt added into wheat flour, but it should not be that you snatch the entire plate from someone. I know this is a chaotic state with a confused ruler, but you should look at the condition. These labourers go out to work.. how much does their house cost, tell me.. Rs 1.20 lakh…that much would be the cost of constructing your bathrooms).”

This isn’t the first time that Rambai has held such a public gathering. In the past too, she is known to have addressed gatherings and gotten money back to the villagers.

Rambai further told the officers that she is not punishing them this time but the money of the poor villagers should be returned to them. “You can accept Rs 500 to Rs 1000 if people give them out of their goodwill, but not take away the money earned with their blood and sweat while working on the fields,” she added.

After her video went viral, Rambai in a statement about the incident said, “It is alright, these officers indulge in such practices and it is acceptable but in some cases it gets too much. In such instances, the issues are sorted when we step out. In many cases, things are not completely in the hands of village sarpanch and secretary, but for the villagers, they are the ones at fault. The people are ours and so are the officers and so we try to strike a balance and resolve issues.”

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