- Madan Sahni is known to be a trusted aide of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
- He said officers were putting on hold transfers that he had approved.
- He said he had raised similar problems at a meeting of MLAs of the NDA.
Nothing moves in the Bihar government without money and officials don't listen to their own minister. The damning feedback comes not from the opposition but Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's own ministers and allies.
Now a Bihar Minister's public rant against his own government has become hugely embarrassing for Nitish Kumar, especially since it comes from a leader of his party Janata Dal United (JDU), not any ally or the opposition.
Madan Sahni, the Bihar Social Welfare Minister, said on Thursday that he wanted to quit as his own Principal Secretary didn't listen to him. He says he will hand in his resignation on Saturday.
Mr Sahni said he was extremely upset over officers putting on hold transfers and postings he had approved as a minister.
"If the officers have the temerity to do so, what is the point of my remaining in my chair? I do not want to remain a minister just to enjoy some facilities," Mr Sahni told reporters at his home yesterday.
On whether he had shared his complaint with the Chief Minister, he said: "Why should I? He would think I am blackmailing him."
Asked when he planned to hand in his papers, Mr Sahni replied: "The letter is being prepared."
According to sources, all the recommendations of Mr Sahni were ignored in a department that has faced a prolonged CBI investigation over a sex scandal in a remand home in Muzaffarpur.
Mr Sahni received support from former Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi, whose son Santosh Manjhi is also in Nitish Kumar's cabinet.
Mr Sahni said he had raised similar problems at a meeting of MLAs of the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) - that officials hardly entertain "genuine demands" of ministers.
To add to the Chief Minister's embarrassment, two BJP MLAs, Gynandra Singh Gyanu and Haribhushan Thakur, alleged that ministers openly took money for the posting of officials and legislators' requests were set aside.
Mr Gyanu said hardly any transfers had taken place without money being exchanged.
Nitish Kumar reportedly reached out to Haribhushan Thakur and tried to understand what happened.
It is clear that the Chief Minister's dependence on bureaucrats will be harder this time, with pressure growing from within.
Madan Sahni is known to be a trusted aide of Mr Kumar and became a minister in February, three months after the Bihar election in which he had wrested an Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) stronghold.