- Tej Pratap Yadav's brother-in-law was present in a recently held official meeting
- Controversy erupted after photos of the meeting surfaced
- Tej Pratap Yadav became the target of the opposition for promoting bhai-bhatijavaad (nepotism)
Bihar environment ministry row: Newly inducted cabinet minister in the JD(U)-RJD-led Mahagathbandhan government in Bihar, elder son of Lalu Prasad Yadav, Tej Pratap Yadav became the target of the opposition for promoting bhai-bhatijavaad (nepotism) in the government functioning just days after PM Modi's Independence Day speech in which he termed corruption and nepotism two biggest challenges for the nation.
The row erupted after Tej Pratap Yadav, who is Forest and Environment minister in the Bihar government, brother-in-law was present in a recently held meeting.
His brother-in-law and elder sister Misa Bharti's husband Shailesh Kumar was present in a meeting of the Bihar Pollution Control Board Shailesh.
Pratap held a meeting with the Principal Secretary of the department, Arvind Chaudhary, the Chairman and other officials.
However, a controversy erupted after Misa's husband was seen present in the meeting. Photos of the same have also surfaced.
Earlier, when Nitish's confidant Jitan Ram Manjhi had become the Chief Minister for a brief period of time, he had made his son-in-law his personal secretary. After the controversy escalated, he had to remove his son-in-law from the post.
The new 'Mahagathbandhan' government in the state is facing embarassement after photographs of the meeting surfaced recently.
According to sources who did not wish to be named, Shailesh Kumar, who is married to Yadav’s eldest sister Misa Bharti, a Rajya Sabha MP herself, had come to the office on Wednesday to congratulate his wife’s younger brother upon securing a cabinet berth.
Yadav, never known to be a stickler for norms, asked the brother-in-law to take a seat beside him until the meeting was over and the two could have a chat, they said.
However, the mercurial leader also ended up sharing pictures of the meeting on Twitter and the BJP, sore over the sudden loss of power, pounced on the opportunity.
"It is not at all surprising since whatever may be the RJD's posturing with regard to its politics of casteism and religious appeasement, the party is basically meant to further the interests of the family," BJP spokesperson Nikhil Anand said in a statement.
Anand's remark was an obvious reference to Yadav being the son of RJD president Lalu Prasad and former Chief Minister Rabri Devi and his younger brother Tejashwi Yadav becoming the deputy CM. However, this was not the first occasion when a minister was caught in such a situation.
Last year, the then minister for animal husbandry and fisheries Mukesh Sahani was in the soup after he deputed his brother to inaugurate a department function since he himself could not attend.