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Former Bihar minister joins Aam Aadmi Party

PTI | Last Updated: Thursday, February 6, 2014 - 21:36

New Delhi: Parveen Amanullah, a former minister in the Nitish Kumar-led government, on Thursday joined the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), citing flaws and "non-transparency" in governance in Bihar as the reason for switching loyalty.

Senior party leader Sanjay Singh also announced Suman Lal, noted RTI activist from Bihar joining the party along with Amanullah.

"I have always given more importance to Swaraj and people`s participation and I have tried to implement it in my department and my constituency, which AAP also practices. I contacted the AAP and expressed my desire to join the party and they accepted my proposal," Amanullah said.

Amanullah, who quit as Social Welfare Minister in the Bihar government on Tuesday, however, avoided direct criticism of Nitish Kumar, but criticised the government.

"I was aware that decentralisation is important in the state and business needs to be conducted with more transparency and honesty. For this citizen`s participation is very important. And this was not happening," she said, adding that the Panchayati Raj Law had flaws and required to be changed.

Attacking the Bihar government, she said that there were "flaws even in normal governance". "Schools, hospitals and anganwadis don`t function normally. Why can`t villages have same levels of hygiene like cities as even they require a system...It is important to have solid waste management, same hygiene levels in villages as it is in the cities", she said.

"Since there is no transparency, all these works have halted. There are flaws in system and it is still not being understood. System can only be strengthened through Swaraj," she said.

When asked whether she left the party owing to differences with the Chief Minister or whether she agreed with a section of leaders in JDU who allege that Nitish Kumar was acting like a dictator, she said, "In most states, Chief Ministers hold complete power and same is the case in Bihar".

"There have been achievements, but we could have done a lot more. We could have imbibed more of people`s participation and accountability."

Sanjay Singh said that Amanullah`s joining the party will help its prospects in Bihar and she will also play an important role in the Lok Sabha elections at the local and organisation level.

When asked whether she will contest elections, the former minister did not rule out the possibility of contesting the elections.

"This will be done after consulting the party. If the party wants me to contest elections then I will contest," she said.
Social and RTI activist Suman Lal said that she had been working on issues related to women and children trafficking, but never thought of joining any party.
"I never thought I would join any party, but now AAP is a platform," Lal said, adding there were major issues like corruption and security of women in Bihar, which needed to worked upon.

First Published: Thursday, February 6, 2014 - 21:36
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