Indian minister sparks scandal by saying bureaucrats 'can steal a little'
LUCKNOW, India (AFP) - A provincial minister in India's most populous state has sparked a scandal after suggesting to bureaucrats that they could "steal a little" if they performed well in their duties.
Mr Shivpal Singh Yadav, in charge of housing and construction in northern Uttar Pradesh state, on Friday hastily withdrew the offer he made a day earlier during a meeting with government employees which was also attended by journalists.
Mr Yadav is an uncle to the state chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, whose Samajwadi Party stormed into power on an anti-graft platform in elections held in graft-ridden Uttar Pradesh in March.
"If you work hard, you can steal a little, but don't behave like bandits," the Press Trust of India quoted Mr Yadav as saying at the meeting in Etah town, about 200km from capital Lucknow.