PATNA: When Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar scrapped the MLA/MLC Local Area Development Fund early this year, he didn’t expect it to pose a problem within his party. When it did, last week, he used a unique method to pacify fund-starved legisltors. During the two-day Vidhayak-Vidhan Parhsad Shivir (MLAs-MLCs camp), the CM pulled out all stops to give them sumptuous meals. Forty five legislators fumed about the cash crunch at the event, organised to vent their feelings—an rare opportunity they get with Nitish Kumar.
Hara chana (fried green gram), chuda (beaten rice) and jalebi was on breakfast. Lunch was rice, daal, baigan bhaja (brinjal fry), two varieties of seasonal vegetables, papad, and tilouri. Puri, veggies, kheer, belgarami, gulab jamun was for dinner. Nitish was personally in charge of the menu and arrangements.
In spite of the feast, a legislator reportedly said, “In his heart of hearts, Nitish is aware that legislators are feeling the pinch of the withdrawal of development funds. The good food and the sugary speech at the camp held among green woods and beautiful hills were just a ploy to keep us in good humour.”
Like several occasions in the past, on Monday, the populist CM rode a horse cart to the event held in Rajgir. In his speech, he mentioned that people had pointed fingers at the legislators, alleging that the money was being misused. He said the decision to withdraw the fund has raised the izzat (honour) of the party.