Bihar minister defends ‘I am choron ka sardar’ remark: ‘Will continue to…’
Controversy erupted in Bihar after state agriculture minister Sudhakar Singh acknowledged rampant corruption in his department and called himself ‘choron ka sardar’ (leader of thieves).
Bihar agriculture minister Sudhakar Singh on Tuesday defended his remarks in which the RJD leader had called himself ‘choron ka sardar’ (chieftain of thieves) to convey his displeasure with rampant corruption in his department. Singh said he stands by his remarks as people have chosen him to fight for them.
“I stand by what I have said. I am not amending my statement. I have nothing to say beyond that. People have chosen me and will continue to fight for them,” ANI quoted the minister as saying.
Singh's remarks at a public meeting in Kaimur caused huge controversy as he said there was all-pervasive corruption in paddy procurement and sale of seeds and fertilizers.
“There's not a single wing in our (agriculture) department that doesn't steal. As I am the in-charge of the department, I become choron ka sardar (leader of thieves),” Singh said as people present at the meeting broke into laughter.
Vowing to check the malpractices, Singh asked people to hit the street and burn his effigies in protest if he failed.
The video clip of the address has gone viral on social media.
The minister's outburst came after hundreds of farmers present at the function to felicitate him on his appointment as minister complained about corruption and mismanagement in paddy procurement, sale of seeds, fertiliser distribution and grant of diesel subsidy by his department.
Singh is already under attack from the Bharatiya Janata Party which has been demanding chief minister Nitish Kumar to sack him.
Nitish's former deputy Sushil Kumar Modi last month said the RJD leader, son of state unit chief Jagdanand Singh, was an accused in two cases linked to alleged embezzlement of rice worth ₹5.31 crore in the State Food Corporation. Congress leader Bhakta Charan Das had also reportedly questioned the appointment of Sudhakar Singh.