Under criticism from the Opposition BJP, and as part of an effort to change the perception about his party, Bihar Deputy Chief Minister and senior RJD leader Tejashwi Prasad Yadav on Saturday laid down a six-point code of conduct for state ministers from the party.
Besides Tejashwi, the RJD has 16 ministers in the Nitish Kumar government.
Tejashwi asked the ministers to not purchase any new vehicle for personal use from their respective departments’ expenses and also exhorted them to stop party workers, well-wishers and supporters older than them from touching their feet. Rather, he stated, the ministers should encourage the culture of saying “namaste and aadaab”.
The RJD leader asked his ministry colleagues from the party to be courteous towards visitors and meet all people, “irrespective of their caste and religion”, as also help the poor and the needy. He urged them to discourage the culture of gifting and receiving bouquets and instead replace them with gifts such as pens or books.
With RJD facing the heat over criminal cases pending against many of its ministers, Tejashwi exhorted them to be honest, “transparent, prompt and fast in execution of their departments’ works under the CM’s leadership”. As a sixth guideline, the Deputy CM advised the ministers to promote works of their departments on social media in order to get public feedback on them.
An RJD leader said: “The immediate reason for these instructions to his ministers is the need to stay away from any unnecessary controversy. Tejashwi also wants an image makeover of RJD, which often faces allegations of ‘jungle raj’ and poor work culture. Tejashwi is perhaps using this period as deputy CM to prepare himself for a bigger role (in state politics).”
Reacting to the code of conduct issued to the RJD ministers, BJP’s OBC Morcha national spokesperson Nikhil Anand said, “Tejashwi’s words are very profound and idealistic, but we doubt if they could ever be implemented by ministers who are hardly exposed to the culture of good work.”
Sushil Modi asks RJD minister to apologise for corruption allegation
Former Bihar deputy CM and Rajya Sabha MP Sushil Kumar Modi on Saturday demanded an apology from state Mines and Geology Minister Ramanand Yadav of the RJD for alleging that he and his family had “accumulated property illegally”, and threatened to file a defamation case unless Yadav apologised within a week.
Modi challenged Yadav to prove his allegation that the two properties — Khaitan Market and Lofipur Mall, both in Patna — belong to him or any member of his family. “If they are able to prove it, I will gift the property to Lalu Prasad’s family,” the BJP leader said.
“RJD leaders should know that Khaitan Market was built in 1995 and I became a minister 10 years later,” he said. Modi added that all allegations he had levelled against Lalu in the past were proved with the RJD chief getting convicted in five fodder scam cases. Sushil Modi was one of the five petitioners in the PIL on fodder scam cases.