Patna: Union Minister Jairam Ramesh on Saturday lamented that "mukhiyapati" (husband of women village chief) were ruling the roost in panchayats.
"During my visit to many panchayats in Bihar and Jharkhand. I noticed mukhiyapati (husband) are ruling there by proxy," the Union minister for Rural Development told reporters at state Congress headquarters Sadaquat Ashram.
In a lighter vein, he said it might be because it was the initial phase of women empowerment.
The Bihar government has reserved 50 per cent of seats in panchayats and urban local bodies for women.
The Union minister appealed to such husbands to let the elected member discharge their duties to realise the spirit of women empowerment.
Ramesh said he had heard about prevalence of luxury vehicles in panchayats and small towns and expressed surprise at this new development.
The minister was here to review progress of schemes under Rural Development ministry with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.