Health Minister and RJD supremo Lalu Prasad’s elder son Tej Pratap Yadav came up with a bright idea: "horse-riding" to curb pollution and avoid traffic jams. He swung onto the saddle and rode a horse through Patna's streets Thursday, reminding wayfarers about Anant Singh a former JD(U) legislator who was often spotted in horse drawn carriages in the city.
“There is so much pollution and traffic jams because of so many vehicles… its better to ride a horse,” said the Health Minister.
After seeing India's rising heft among the world's top carbon culprits at Paris, pollution and smog have also taken on a certain glamour value in public discourse. Delhi will implement the Odd Even Formula from 1 Jaunary, the Patna High Court and Bihar’s Chief Minister Nitish Kumar have expressed concern over the rising pollution in state capital Patna, so the state's health minister decided it was time to pony up.
The Hindu reports that Tej Pratap wore jeans and a pullover for the horse show. Security personnel followed him on foot and on horseback. The horses were hired from the Bihar Military Police (BMP), which has a mounted force, on the Minister’s request, the newspaper reports.
Just after Nitish Kumar's swearing in, Sanjay Singh of Firstpost wrote that Tej Pratap, would be happy to be a powerful minister in the state but he certainly appeared ill-prepared to take up such a post. He fumbled twice while reading from the swearing-in text: He spelled apekshit (expected) as upekshit (discarded) and for the second time when he had to read a line 'jab bhi tab ke siwa'. Governor Ram nath Kovind had to correct him twice and prompt the right words when Tej Pratap did a repeat reading. Watch the goof-up here.
Tej Pratap has been given the all important portfolio of health. In fact, road and health are the two most visible portfolios in the Nitish government that had become hallmark of his governance plank. The RJD has also grabbed the finance ministry. Its popular Muslim face Abdul Bari Sidiqui will have control over state’s exchequer. Nitish will retain home. He perhaps couldn’t have left handling of law and order to the RJD.