PATNA: Bihar chief minister, Nitish Kumar was literally stunned when his agriculture minister, Sudhakar Singh refused to apologise for his comments on corruption on his department and reiterated he stood by his comments. Singh was asked by CM in the cabinet meeting to apologise for his comments. Singh left the meeting in protest.
Sudhakar Singh, who is son of Jagdanand Singh, state president of RJD said he would abide by the advice of Lalu Prasad who was his leader, not Nitish.
At a reception organised in his honour at Kaimur, his constitutency, the minister said there was total corruption in his department. Everyone in the department was engaged in acts of theft and as the minister he was head of the thieves. "There are many others above me who are greater thieves," he said.
According to the minister, farmers were not getting fertilisers, irrigation water was not reaching their fields.
Speaking at the government organised programme to launch Agriculture Road Map Four, Sudhakar Singh said it was a big joke. The earlier Krishi road maps launched since 2008 have flopped. Senior officers of the department were present in the meeting when minister made mockery of his own department's plan.
According to Sudhakar Singh,the farmers were getting substandard quality of seeds from the state-run Bihar State Seeds Corporation. They are throwing these seeds . "There is not a single wing in the government that does not commit acts of theft, he regretted as himself declared as Sardar (head) of the thieves." He provoked kisans to burn his effigies to highlight their sufferings at the hands of the government.
Since, he was unapologetic about his comments and ignored the advice of chief minister, Nitish Kumar dialled up the RJD president, Lalu Prasad, who later called the minister at his residence and suggested him to have restraint.
After his meeting with Lalu, minister told meda persons, he stood by his comments on the working of the government. "Government is the same, there is no change in work culture", he said.
This is for the first time that a minister has refused to oblige Nitish Kumar in the cabinet meeting. Sudhakar denied reports that he had offered to resign.
Upendra Kushwaha,chairman of the JDU parliamentary Board in a statement today said as Minister, Sudhahar Singh control himself and maintain the image of the government.