Four-month-old Nitish Kumar-led grand alliance (GA) ministry in Bihar was involved in a fresh controversy after one of its ministers was caught on camera feasting with former RJD MP of Siwan in Siwan jail.
Bihar minority welfare affairs minister Abdul Ghafoor and another MLA met Sahabuddin inside Siwan jail on March 6.
A Siwan court had in December last year sentenced Shahabuddin to life imprisonment in a 2004 double murder case, in which he recently got bail. The RJD leader is also convicted in five other cases and about 20 cases in all.
Earlier, a JD (U) MLA and RJD MLA had embarrassed the state government with their indecent act.
RJD MLA Raj Ballabh Yadav is evading arrest for the last one month after his name surfaced in a rape case. JD (U) MLA from Jokihat, Sarfaraz Alam had brought a bad name to the government after a complaint was lodged by a woman passenger for allegedly molesting her aboard Rajdhani Express.
In both the cases, the respective party suspended the MLAs from their party. A Congress MLA Siddarth also brought disrepute to GA after he was booked for allegedly kidnapping a 20-year-old woman. Later on, the girl along with MLA’s driver turned up together to bail out the MLA.
The beleaguered BJP was quick to lap up the meeting of Bihar government minister with Shahabudiin and criticised Ghafoor for meeting the incarcerated former Siwan MP and having snacks with him in jail.
RJD chief Lalu Prasad, however, came to the government’s defence, saying, welcoming guests with snacks is a normal courtesy.
“When we go to meet anyone in jail, we are treated with snacks as a normal courtesy. Why is BJP upset over that,” said Lalu Prasad.
Minister Ghafoor talking to mediapersons outside Bihar assembly premises called the meeting a ‘personal one.”
“I was in Siwan on a personal visit and the venue was just near the jail. I just thought of making a courtesy visit. There was nothing political in it,” said Ghafoor.
Siwan jail superintendent Radheshyam Suman told HT that the ministers had sought formal permission to meet the jailed RJD leader .