Patna: Opposition BJP in Bihar on Friday questioned the state's education department gifting microwave ovens to all 243 legislators at a time when thousands of teachers were awaiting payment of salaries since months.
"It is shocking... the state's education department has gifted costly microwave oven to all legislators but don't have money for salary of teachers," a Bharatiya Janata Party leader said.
Bihar Education Minister Ashok Choudhary downplayed the issue, saying it was a small gift for legislators. "This is not the first time that legislators have been gifted during the budget session of the state assembly every year. There is nothing new in it."
He said the microwave ovens gifted to legislators cost the state's education department Rs 11,125 each. "It's just a matter of Rs.30 lakh only."
The state's animal husbandry department, meanwhile, gifted costly trolley bags to all legislators and the state's urban development department gifted expensive watches to all of them.
Previously, other departments have gifted costly items to legislators as a goodwill gesture. Interestingly, BJP and its allies legislators also accepted these gifts.
However, thousands of teachers of government-run schools have been agitating after not being paid their salaries for months.