PATNA: Opposition BJP today protested against absence of Health minister Tej Pratap Yadav in Bihar assembly to answer questions related to the department, with the government stating that any cabinet member could reply since it was part of its collective responsibility.
As the assembly sat for the day and Speaker Vijay Chaudhary ordered to take up short notice question of JD(U) member Shyam Rajak relating to the health department, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Shrawan Kumar rose to answer in absence of minister Tej Pratap Yadav, elder son of RJD chief Lalu Prasad.
BJP members protested the minister's absence with Leader of Opposition Prem Kumar saying it was not a good tradition that somebody else was answering for a minister concerned.
Senior BJP leader Nand Kishore Yadav sought to know the valid reason for the absence of the health minister and said it reflected state government's "non-seriousness" to reply to questions raised by the members.
With the opposition members staging protest, Deputy Chief Minister Tejaswi Yadav, younger brother of the Health minister, rose from his seat and said when the minister comes to answer, the opposition stages a walkout and when he has not come a hue and cry was being made.
The Parliamentary Affairs minister who answered all the questions related to the health department said under collective responsibility of the cabinet, anybody could reply from the government side.
He said since the minister was not well he answered the question of Health department from the government side.
Earlier, Nand Kishore Yadav had alleged that the state government did not include health department for a special debate in the assembly due to "fight within RJD to prove Tej Pratap Yadav incapable."