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MP is lawless, officials can take bribe: BSP legislator's 'lesson' in graft

The BSP MLA is heard in the now-viral video asking the assembled villagers about the amount of money they had to pay to the officials.
Madhya Pradesh BSP MLA Ramabai is seen in this file photo. (ANI Photo)
Updated on Sep 28, 2021 10:29 AM IST
By | Written by Meenakshi Ray, New Delhi

A Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader in Madhya Pradesh, Ramabai, has been caught on camera handing out lessons on taking bribes to officials accused of extorting money from villagers. Ramabai made the remarks during a meeting with the residents of Satua village, who approached the MLA with complaints against two employment assistants, according to reports. The villagers alleged that both of them took taken thousands of rupees from them to allot houses under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, they added.

The BSP MLA is heard in the video asking the assembled villagers about the amount of money they had to pay to the officials. In response, one of them said he gave 9,000, another said he was made to pay 5000 and the third told the politician that he gave a bribe of 6,000. The now-viral video shows Ramabai talking to the villagers in her assembly seat of Patharia and then telling the officials that asking 1000 is alright. “There is no problem. It’s like salt in flour. But it is not OK when you snatch the whole plate away from people. I am not saying don’t take bribes and I also know that a game of andher nagari chaupat raja is on in the state,” she said referring to the Hindi idiom.

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The Hindi idiom talks about a place where corruption and disorder is the rule of the land. The video was published by Live Hindustan, the sister publication of the Hindustan Times.

Ramabai also reprimanded both the officials and ordered them to return the money to the villagers. “It is enough that I am not punishing you. All I am saying is you have to return their money to them,” she said.

In 2019, Ramabai was suspended by BSP chief Mayawati for supporting the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), which seeks to grant citizenship to non-Muslim refugees who came to India before December 31, 2014, to escape religious persecution in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. The MLA later said her statement on Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) was distorted.

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