NEW DELHI -- Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad Yadav has severely reprimanded lawmakers for making a dash to grab government bungalows before these houses are officially allotted to them.
Asking his party leaders not to sully the name of the party or the government, Yadav said he stayed at "chaprasi quarters" when he was elected as a lawmaker in 1980.
"Why is there a scramble for the legislators' residences? Everybody will get their house in accordance with the rules," Yadav told a party meeting in Patna, PTI reported.
"World will be watching us ... We have to understand the responsibility endowed on us by the great voters." he said.
Yadav's remarks come at a time when questions are being raised about whether the lawlessness, which wracked Bihar under his rule, will return now that his party and family members are back in power. He was convicted of corruption in the fodder scam case in 2013 and banned from contesting elections for six years.
His sons - Tejashwi, 26 and Tej Pratap, 28 - have been appointed as cabinet ministers in the Nitish Kumar government, controlling six ministries between them, and the younger brother is also the Deputy Chief Minister of the state.
Yadav's decade-long rule in Bihar, often referred to as Jungle Raj, is one of the darkest periods in the state, eclipsed by poverty, crime and kidnappings. It was also the Achilles heel of the RJD-JD(U) Grand Alliance which the BJP attacked for months during its Bihar election campaign.
Now, his party has the highest number of seats in the Assembly.
Earlier this week, two lawmakers from the RJD, Arun Yadav and Anil Yadav, and R.N. Singh from the Janata Dal (United) grabbed three houses.
Arun Yadav reportedly entered the bungalow of Manjit Singh, a former lawmaker from the JD(U), while he was in hospital and removed his nameplate. Singh said that he had till December 7 (one month after the election results were announced) to vacate the house.
Tejashwi also rebuked the scramble for government bungalows.
"I have learnt that some of our MLAs have forcefully occupied official bungalows. I have found out that the Speaker of the Assembly sanctions the bungalows. I don't understand why some of our MLAs are in a hurry. This gives a bad name to the party and tarnishes its reputation," he said, The Telegraph reported.
Echoing his son's sentiments, Yadav said, "Five years will pass in a jiffy. Party is always bigger than the government. I lived in chaprasi quarters for four months after becoming an MLA."
While their father may have stayed at a "chaprasi quarter" when he first became a lawmaker, the hunt is reportedly one for big bungalows for his sons.
Earlier this week, Hindustan Times reported that Tejashwi could be allotted the 7, Circular Road, residence if Kumar moves back to the official residence at 1, Aney Marg, and his older brother is also likely to get a big house as per his choice.
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