Ramabai, a Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader in Madhya Pradesh, was captured on video teaching officials accused of extorting money from villages how to take bribes.
According to accounts, Ramabai made the statements during a meeting with inhabitants of Satua village, who had contacted the MLA with concerns about two job helpers. According to the locals, both of them stole thousands of rupees from them in order to award properties under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana.
The BSP MLA is heard in the video asking the assembled villagers about the amount of money they had to pay to the officials. In response, one of them said he gave Rs. 9,000, another said he was made to pay Rs. 5000 and the third told the politician that he gave a bribe of Rs. 6,000.
The now-viral video shows Ramabai talking to the villagers in her assembly seat of Patharia and then telling the officials that asking ₹1000 is alright. “There is no problem. It’s like salt in flour. But it is not OK when you snatch the whole plate away from people. I am not saying don’t take bribes and I also know that a game of andher nagari chaupat raja is on in the state,” she said referring to the Hindi idiom.
Ramabai also reprimanded both the officials and ordered them to return the money to the villagers. “It is enough that I am not punishing you. All I am saying is you have to return their money to them,” she said.
In 2019, Ramabai was suspended by BSP chief Mayawati for supporting the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), which seeks to grant citizenship to non-Muslim refugees who came to India before December 31, 2014, to escape religious persecution in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. The MLA later said her statement on Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) was distorted.