India: Minister disguises himself to check illegal activities, corruption
Maharashtra’s Minister of State for Education, Bachchu Kadu, buys banned chewing tobacco worth Dh445 from shop
When Yusuf Pathan, dressed in a white Pathani suit and donning a cap, walked up to a paan (betel leaf) shop in Akola in Maharashtra, and bought Rs9,000 (about Dh445) worth of ‘gutkha’ (chewing tobacco), which is banned in the state, no one realised who he actually was.
Pathan quietly recorded the transaction and then called the local officials. He was, in fact, Bachchu Kadu, Maharashtra’s Minister of State for Education, and Guardian Minister for Akola district. After the officials arrived, he immediately initiated legal action against the shop owner.
The minister also disguised himself while visiting a government office and offered a bribe to get a ration card in his name. Later, he visited a cooperative bank and offered the manager a cut for an agricultural loan. Both, however, refused his bribes and were later felicitated by Kadu.
“I wanted to check how the government machinery is functioning and whether any illegal activity or corruption is taking place,” the minister later told the media.
“While gutkha selling is the worst thing that I came across today, I also met some honest shopkeepers and government officials.”
An independent and veteran politician, from Achalpur in Amravati, Kadu, 51, has been elected successfully to the Maharashtra legislative assembly four times in every election since 2004. He is part of the ruling coalition in the state.
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