Bihar Opposition up in aams against Nitish Kumar's government's 'gift'
Rashtriya Janta Dal and Congress react over the gift given by the Nitish Kumar government
Patna: The king of fruits came in the eye of a storm in Bihar on Wednesday when a fancy variety of mango and its saplings were gifted to members of the bicameral legislature by the state government.
The gesture, however, did not go down well with the Opposition, which accused the Nitish Kumar government of trying to divert the attention of the members of the legislature from its failure to check the outbreak and spread of the acute encephalitis syndrome (AES).
The Digha Maldah mangoes and its saplings were handed over to each member when a debate on the agriculture budget was underway in the assembly.
Explaining the spirit behind the move, Agriculture Minister Prem Kumar said: "The Digha Malda variety mangoes — specialty of our state — and its saplings are being distributed to encourage its plantation".
Many legislators of the Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Congress combine refused to accept the gift and alleged those who accepted it would be "cursed" by the families of more than 150 children who lost their lives to AES last month.
Asked why the fruits were not sent to the families of dead or afflicted children, the agriculture minister replied indignantly: "We will do that. Fruits will be sent to the affected families as also the saplings. The media can verify this at a later stage."
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