A Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator from Bihar came under fire from opposition leaders and locals on Saturday after he was caught urinating in an open area in the district collectorate premises minutes after allegedly attending a meeting on swachhta (cleanliness).
As local journalists and civilians present in the collectorate filmed the unhygienic act and shared it widely on social media, legislator from east Champaran Lalbabu Prasad Gupta blamed the lack of public urinals in the government building for his predicament.
Confronted by the journalists, he denied that he was at the district magistrate’s office for any programme on cleanliness and then held forth on the virtues of good sanitation habits.
“I had gone to the DM’s office for a meeting that was not on Swachhta (cleanliness). As I came out, I felt the pressure to answer the nature’s call. Finding no urinal in the surrounding, I located a secluded place where I relieved myself,” the legislator said and soon went on to stress how significant the Centre’s resolve is to make the nation clean.
He said, “Cleanliness drives are remedy for diseases. The campaign launched by the Centre and our state government has evoked good response. But it will take time to make a clean Bihar and clean India. Any campaign cannot become successful overnight.”
East Champaran is celebrating a year-long centenary of Mahatma Gandhi’s Champaran Satyagrah with a series of events. The celebrations will culminate on April 17 but before that the local administration has the daunting task of making the district open-defecation free.
District magistrate, Raman Kumar is regularly holding meetings with local political and social representatives to accomplish the daunting task.
The legislator had allegedly gone to attend one such meeting. Kumar, however, could not be contacted for his comments. Several calls to him went unanswered.
As videos of the legislator peeing in full public view spread and began trending on social media such as WhatsApp and Facebook, it gave the opposition enough ammunition to attack the BJP and brand its cleanliness drive as a ‘drama’ and ‘farce’.
District Congress president Shailendra Kumar Shukla asked if this was the way the BJP wanted to promote cleanliness in the nation.
“Urinating in open, that too in the DM’s office campus, proves their seriousness towards eliminating the social issue,” he said.
State RJD spokesperson and Harsidhi MLA Rajendra Ram questioned BJP’s double standards saying that while they were indulging in all kinds of unhygienic acts, they were shameless convincing others to promote cleanliness.
Courtesy: Hindustan Times